Dallas City Council District 13 candidate Jennifer Staubach Gates has withdrawn from a debate scheduled for March 28, citing worries about constituents not being able to receive the limited number of tickets to the event.
Preston Hollow People reported Thursday that Adrian C. Bakke of the Gates campaign left a voicemail for the publication’s publisher Thursday afternoon.
“Jennifer was looking forward to it,” Bakke said. “But the way it kind of ended up, we didn’t feel like it was going to fulfill the purpose of the forum.
“It was supposed to get the voters in her district to hear from her and Laura (Miller),” Bakke added. Jennifer has “just got quite a few phone calls from folks (who said) that they were not able to attend and they felt that people from outside her district were getting in.”
The debate between Gates and challenger former Mayor Laura Miller was set to be moderated by D Magazine editor Tim Rogers. There were 250 free tickets for the event at Preston Hollow United Methodist, which ran out quickly after being made available, Preston Hollow People reported. There were reportedly 80 people on a waiting list for the event.
In response to Gates’ withdrawal, Miller told Preston Hollow People she was “extremely disappointed.”
“Whether there is one person in attendance or 500, it is important for us to discuss the issues in detail and let the public see how we differ on those issues,” Miller told the publication. “It is clear to me that she is not willing to debate me.”
Gates is currently serving her third term as Dallas City Councilmember for District 13, a position she was first elected to in 2013. She serves as the Chair of the Government Performance and Financial Management Committee and holds seats on the Public Safety committee as well as the Arts and Culture and Libraries committee.
Her main issue is keeping residents safe, she told Advocate Magazine earlier this year.
Miller served as Dallas Mayor from 2002 to 2007, when she decided not to run for re-election. She decided to challenge Gates because “neighborhoods throughout District 13 have been under siege for the past six years” by a high amount of development, she told Advocate Magazine earlier this year.
Dallas City Council elections will be held May 4.
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