Dallas attorney J.J. Koch eked out a win for the Republican nomination for Dallas County commissioner, beating Vickers "Vic" Cunningham. "To say that this race was contentious is an understatement. To say that the last four days were bad for the Republican party is an understatement."
On Friday, the last day of early voting, Cunningham admitted to rewarding his kids financially if they marry a white, heterosexual, Christian person in a story that reverberated nationally after it was published by The Dallas Morning News.
Cunningham, who held a 10-percent lead over Koch in early voting, conceded the loss in a Facebook post on Wednesday. "Unfortunately we did not prevail," Cunningham said. "I am acutely aware of my own failings and will counsel with my God, my family, and my friends what path I shall take moving forward." Cunningham, 56, who served as a criminal court judge for 10 years, was the less controversial of the two candidates for much of the race -- until his estranged brother, Bill, showed up at The News on May 14 and alleged his brother was a longtime bigot who regularly used the N-word and the term "boy" to insult black people behind their backs.
Cunningham denied harboring racial bigotry but did confirm one of his brother's primary allegations -- that his trust fund for his kids includes a stipulation intended to discourage a child from marrying a person of another race or of the same sex. "I strongly support traditional family values," Cunningham said. "If you marry a person of the opposite sex that's Caucasian, that's Christian, they will get a distribution."
Throughout the race, Koch, 38, did not shy from controversy. His combativeness cost him the support of some leaders, including the district's longtime Commissioner Mike Cantrell, who feared Koch would struggle to compromise with the four Democrats on the Commissioners Court.
Koch launched a legal fight against the county elections head. He blamed "illegal immigrants" for the county's shrinking middle class, angering Commissioner Elba Garcia. And he said that as a former college wrestler, he'd be able to whup any of the four Democrats he'd work with on the Commissioners Court.