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Duncanville mayoral candidates tout records heading into June runoff

The Duncanville mayoral election ended in a tie between current Mayor Barry Gordon and Mark D. Cooks, District 4 city council member. Each candidate received 1050 votes, according to unofficial election results.

By Cecilia Lenzen

Mark Cooks
Mark Cooks

The Duncanville mayoral election ended in a tie between current Mayor Barry Gordon and Mark D. Cooks, District 4 city council member. Each candidate received 1050 votes, according to unofficial election results

This would be Gordon’s third term as mayor if re-elected. Previously, he served as president of the Duncanville Community and Economic Development Corporation, member of the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and vice president of the Tax-Increment Financing District. 

Barry Gordon
Barry Gordon

Gordon said the opportunity to serve Duncanville was never on his radar until a few private citizens encouraged him to run for mayor, but now he feels divinely called to it. As a man of faith, he said he had to pray about it, and God told him this was his next chapter in life. 

“Running for a third term is obedience to the Lord,” he said.  

If re-elected, Gordon would prioritize expanding commercial property redevelopment and drawing new business to the city, according to his campaign website. He also supports greater police department funding. 

Gordon said he’ll be able to continue the momentum built during his first two terms to continue improving things such as transit in DFW. 

Cooks was elected a city council member in June 2018 and has also served as Mayor Pro Tem. Additionally, Cooks currently serves as a Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce board member, a Tri Cities NAACP member and vice president of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. 

As a council member, Cooks championed the establishment of Juneteenth as a city holiday. The day is recognized as a state and national holiday, but Duncanville was the first and only Texas city to establish the day as a city holiday as well. 

If elected, Cooks would be the city’s first Black mayor, an accomplishment he said would allow him to better connect with the city’s residents, especially in the school district. 

“I would be able to connect and represent our students within our local school district that are majority Black and brown — to be able to relate to them, to be an example to them, to let them know that they can achieve anything that they want to achieve in our school district and in our city and in our state,” Cooks said. 

Some of Cooks’ goals as mayor would be to improve city infrastructure and reinvigorate the taxbase. He also aims to promote a healthier city by developing and connecting a 10-mile creek walk and hike trail. 

The council member said he feels comfortable heading into a runoff election because he has seen a wide range of support from people of all racial backgrounds. 

Before the runoff, Gordon said he plans to continue convincing citizens he’s the best person for the job of mayor. 

The runoff election is scheduled for June 18.

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