Super PAC trying to oust Dallas Councilman Philip Kingston has outspent Philip Kingston

A Super PAC calling itself “For Our Community” has spent more than $33,000 on digital advertising and mailers in an attempt to unseat District 14 Councilman Philip Kingston, according to the most recent campaign finance reports. That’s more than any candidate in the race has spent trying to promote himself — including Kingston.

District 14 includes the M Streets, Lower Greenville and Old East Dallas. Challenger Matt Wood, who lives in Junius Heights, has raised nearly $46,000 and spent roughly $6,000 so far. Kingston, who lives in the Belmont Addition Historic District, has raised more than $50,000 since January and spent a little less than $20,000. Challenger and Downtown resident Kim Welch has not raised any money.

Combined with Kingston’s previous donations, the almost $95,000 in his campaign coffers going into the May 6 election is more than double Wood’s $40,000. And that’s money Kingston may need, considering that the For Our Community Super PAC has out-fundraised and outspent both of them.

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Since January, For Our Community solicited another $86,000, bringing its grand total to $271,000. (Super PACs, unlike candidates, don’t have limits on donations they can accept from individuals or corporations.) For Our Community’s latest campaign finance report makes explicit its support of five City Council incumbents and one candidate — Monica Alonzo, Rick Callahan, Casey Thomas, Erik Wilson, Tiffinni Young and Matt Wood.

Kingston is the only candidate For Our Community is spending to oppose, and he seems to be a big focus of the donors’ efforts. Of the roughly $95,000 it has spent so far, more than a third of the money has been directed toward anti-Kingston efforts.

Kingston isn’t shrugging at these expenditures, but he thinks his opponents’ efforts are backfiring.

“If the message is, ‘Philip is not effective,’ then no, that message will not sell. My record speaks for itself,” he says.”If you’re a popular incumbent with a really great track record, the only way to beat me is to lie. Those fliers say more about them than they do about me.”

The mailers and digital ads mainly have criticized Kingston’s disparaging remarks to council colleagues and belittling of city staff (the latter, he says, are quotes taken out of context). Wood, stumping at a meet and greet last week, similarly critiqued Kingston’s “tenor and divisiveness, over the last two years in particular.”

Wood maintains, however, that even though “some of the folks supporting them [For Our Community] are supporting me,” he and his campaign “had nothing to do with that.”

“I understand their frustration, and I’m hearing it more and more as I’m meeting with residents in District 14 and people who are in the business community in District 14,” Wood says. “It’s really not what I’m about, though. I’d just as soon things not get dirty and people vote based on what they hear.”

Wood’s campaign motto is “positive change,” and taking issue with Kingston’s approach to city politics is one of the main ways he is distancing himself from the incumbent.

“I’m not snarky. You’re not going to get any interesting Facebook or Twitter comments from me,” Wood noted at the meet and greet. He advocated “using our diversity as a common starting point from which differences can be settled. The last couple of years, I feel like we’ve lost that from this district. We don’t have someone who’s trying to get things done.”

Kingston, however, believes that his success on City Council is exactly why he’s under attack.

“I think what you see is that the money from inside the district is coming to me, and the money from outside the district is going to ‘DoorMatt’,” Kingston says, using his new nickname for Wood after someone at a campaign event asked whether the district wants a leader or a doormat. “We all looked at each other and said, ‘Oh my gosh, his name is actually Matt!’ ”

Kingston’s latest campaign finance report shows a number of out-of-district donors along with in-district, as does Wood’s. For Our Community’s reports don’t list addresses, only zip codes, so it’s hard to tell who does or doesn’t live in the district, but the substantial number of donors with Park Cities and Preston Hollow zip codes certainly don’t.

Even more interesting is that anti-Kingston mailers have been sent to homes beyond District 14. Homes in Councilman Mark Clayton’s District 9 and and in Councilwoman Jennifer Staubach Gates’ District 13 have received them too, Kingston says.

“They want to prevent me from winning any other office,” Kingston reasons.

We asked if he’s referring to the mayoral race he is widely rumored to pursue in the future, and whether the tens of thousands in his campaign coffers may come in handy for that race.

“I’m not free to comment on that at this time,” Kingston says.

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  • Jesse Morales

    Kingston himself has made contributions to Tiffani Young and Casey Thomas’s campaigns. Are you saying that Kingston agrees with the PAC on these two candidates.

  • Beth Offutt

    If any one would like, I could also go back, figure and share the contribution numbers for Kingston and Wood from the Park Cities. I think those of you yelling the most would be quite embarrassed to find out which candidate has received the most money from the Park Cities.

  • Beth Offutt

    For all of you that keep yelling about money outside of District 14 paying for the Wood campaign and that the rich people want Wood in office, I decide to look up the campaign finance reports for myself, do the math and see who was getting money from where. You can find the reports on the City Secretary’s page, I ran the reports from 2014, after Kingston last election, and March 2017, April is not available yet. It is pretty close, but Kingston wins for have campaign contributions that are from not only outside District 14, but outside of Dallas and Texas. Kingston also wins for having doubling the average donation per contributor than that of Wood. Here is the breakdown.

    Percentage of total contributions from outside of District 14:
    Kingston 56% Wood 54%

    Percentage of total contributions from outside of Dallas:
    Kingston 22% Wood 18%

    Percentage of total contributions from outside of Texas:
    Kingston 7% Wood 5%

    Average per contributor:
    Kingston $692.76 Wood $290.80

  • Mary M


  • Mary M

    Hmmmm let’s see. Matt Wood says he knows nothing about the For Our Community flyers; however, there are flyers promoting him with the paid for by For Our Community on the same flyers. Really? You know nothing about this PAC nor do you have any ties? Get Real Sir! We all know that For Our Community is the Dallas Citizens Council who has been trying to get their pawn, I mean candidate, into Dist. 14. You say you are running a campaign on positivity, but doesn’t this actually do the opposite? Don’t believe the hype folks!

  • Robert Taylor

    As soon as I saw the anti-Kingston flyer from For Our Community I knew I’d vote for him again. Stand up and tell me who you’re for, not who you’re against.

  • Jesse Morales

    We all know the campaign starts long before filing, or maybe not everyone knows, but now they do.

    Facts: Jim filed to run for your seat in 2011 pending your decision to continuing on the city council or run for mayor. Once you decided to continue city council, keeping his word, he dropped out of the race publicly stating he would run in 2013. There are numerous articles in the Advocate and DMN if anyone wants to look up the facts from 2011, 2012, and 2013. Kingston, was part of Jim’s campaign before you lured him to run against him.

    When you say that Kingston was already in the race when Jim decided to run is false. Jim decided to run in 2011.
    He officially announced he was running in 2013 1 hour after Kingston. For those of you who don’t know, a candidate can not officially run for office until a certain date and time prescribed by the City Secretary’s Office.

    Maybe we should just ask Jim how it all happened.

  • guest

    I sure hope you didn’t vote for Rawlings if you are tired of shady politicians.

  • Los_Politico

    Jesse, 75205 is the only zipcode split between the 14th and the Park Cities. Interesting to me is that the contributors listed their work zip code– 75201, and not their home zip code 75205 or 225 as the case may be. I know these people, you do too, their address is public record. Why are they being so shady in their efforts to get rid of Kingston?

  • Angela Hunt
  • Jesse Morales

    4. Voter intimidation a non issue, interesting. By the way, not the only shady Kingston move. He actively went to other districts and recruited allies to run against incumbents. Let’s also not forget that he was working on Jim Roger’s campaign when Angela Hunt got him to betray Jim and run against him. Oops, I guess many of you don’t know that. Yes, that is how he won the first time. Kingston is nothing more than the typical politician. Really tired of the Saint Kingston portrayal.

  • unsavedheathen

    1. Thanks. We all have the Google too.
    2. Yes, it does.
    3 And as the article states, Wood has his own shadowy, Park Cities and Preston Hollow funded PAC doing the name calling(and the big-spending) so Wood can demur and decline comment and seem above the fray.
    4. This tangential, non-issue set against the dozens of times Kingston (and Griggs and Medrano) have stood up to the shady actors and actions of the Dallas City Council and for the citizens of Dallas? Be real.
    5. See number two, above.

  • Jesse Morales

    1. 75205 is not the only zip code in district 14
    2. The article states that Kingston and Wood both have contributors inside and outside the district.
    3. To date, given the quote “Doormatt” from Kingston above, the only candidate that I have heard of calling people names is Kingston.
    4. Talk about being shady. Read the Dallas Morning News article about Omar Navarez, after being endorsed by Kingston, calling a restaurant and making false allegations about Wood and threatening the business. Threatening a business also threatens the livelihood of the employees, many of whom are constituents of District 14.
    5. If the these above mentioned flyers have quotes of things that Kingston has said, well then he said them, that is what makes it a quote.

  • d14

    So is Wood yet another DCC puppet being supported by Meri and her band of Make Our Community Crappy friends?

  • Los_Politico

    It is not hard to determine where the people who want Kingston to lose live. You can make a fast determination about everyone who doesn’t live in 75205 and then use DCAD to determine the rest.

    Spoiler alert: none of the pac donors live in District 14.