Fort Worth City Council members Sal Espino and Kathleen Hicks announced support for U.S. House District 33 candidate Domingo Garcia of Dallas Thursday, with Espino saying that Garcia's career of civil rights work outweighs his opposition to Lockheed Martin's F-35 project.
Espino (far left in photo) spoke alongside García Thursday at the new El Vaquero de Fort Worth statue on North Main Street. Former District 33 candidate the Rev. Kyev Tatum (shaking hands) also endorsed García along with eight pastors and community leaders attending as the Black, Brown and Tan Caucus.
Hicks, the third-place finisher in the primary behind Garcia and state Rep. Marc Veasey of Fort Worth, did not attend the news conference. Former state Rep. Glenn O. Lewis of Forest Hill also announced support for Veasey this week, becoming García's first prominent African-American supporters from Tarrant County.
"I think the biggest development today is winning Kathleen Hicks' support," García said after the news event.
"She and her campaign team have joined forces with ours. It gives us a fresh infusion of troops in Tarrant County."
In a printed statement, Hicks said the Tarrant-Dallas County district needs a congressman "who will be the voice for the people and not special-interest groups."
Espino said he disagrees with Garcia on the F-35 but supports him because "You can support a candidate and not support him on every issue. Obviously, Domingo supports jobs."
Tatum, a former Fort Worth Republican precinct chairman who endorsed Mike Huckabee for president in 2008 and appeared with him during that campaign, also had opposed the F-35.
García's campaign also announced endorsements by Fort Worth school trustees Juan Rangel and J.R. Martinez and Arlington school trustee Gloria Pena. Garcia was already supported by Fort Worth school trustee Carlos Vasquez.
Runoff opponent state Rep. Marc Veasey of Fort Worth released a statement criticizing García over Lewis' and Tatum's support for private school vouchers.
In the statement, Veasey spokesman Anthony Gutierrez said: "The only way today's anti-jobs, anti-schools press conference could possibly have helped Domingo would have been if he was seeking the Republican nomination."
The announcement comes after Veasey introduced his "Vamos con Veasey" Dallas leadership team Wednesday, including state Reps. Rafael Anchía and Roberto Alonzo plus former opponent Steve Salazar of Dallas.
Veasey also picked up endorsements this week from former Arlington Mayor Elzie Odom and current Fort Worth school board President T.A. Sims, along with former candidate J.R. Molina of Johnson County. Veasey was endorsed earlier by former House Speaker Jim Wright, former U.S. Rep. Martin Frost, state Sen. Wendy Davis and former mayors Kenneth Barr and Mike Moncrief.
The candidates will debate at least twice more: June 29 at the Marriott City Center in Dallas before a Dallas Regional Chamber audience, and July 10 at KERA/Channel 13 in Dallas.
They appeared June 3 on WFAA/Channel 8's Inside Texas Politics. That debate is here.
The winner of the July 31 runoff will face Fort Worth Republican Chuck Bradley in the fall.