Kudos to the Vickery Place Neighborhood Association for being the first (and as far as we’ve heard, only) group to bring together the candidates running in the May 6 election. The April 12 forum will include all of the East Dallas races, both City Council and school board.

District 14’s council contest is arguably the most heated, based on the number of Dallas Morning News and Dallas Observer stories on it compared to other May races. Then there are those attack ads against incumbent Philip Kingston funded by a deep-pocketed super PAC. Kingston faces longtime East Dallas school volunteer Matt Wood, who has been involved with plans to build an athletic complex at Randall Park and efforts to bring the Olympics to Dallas; and Downtown resident Kim Welch, who hopes to bring some of the infrastructure ideas of New York to Dallas.

District 9’s race has mostly flown under the radar. Incumbent Mark Clayton, an insurance agent, faces Casa View challenger Adam Arthur, Jr., a licensed irrigator. Clayton cannot attend Wednesday’s forum, but will take part in a similiar event just for District 9 candidates on April 18 from 6:30-8 at Lake Highlands Baptist Church.

When it comes to the District 2 race for the Dallas ISD board of trustees, incumbent Dustin Marshall is still settling in to his role after a narrow win in a run-off election last June. He’ll face Lori Kirkpatrick, a Lakewood Elementary mom, this May.

All of the candidates who could represent East Dallas have been invited to speak for 3 minutes this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Lakewood Public Library auditorium, 6121 Worth St. Hosted by Vickery Place, all are welcome to attend, but seating is limited.

It’s worth noting that many of these races could be decided by a razor thin margin, if history is any indicator, since fewer than 10 percent of people in our districts usually vote in spring races.

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