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Candidate from Dallas says Tarrant to be 'a focal point'

Congressional candidate Domingo Garcia came to Arlington on Thursday.

I'm still not clear why.

With three Dallas County officials and two Dallas City Council members in tow, Garcia, of Dallas, came to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to announce that state Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, is backing his Dallas-based campaign for a mostly Tarrant County congressional seat.

He said Dallas leaders came to show that Tarrant County will be included in Garcia's campaign for District 33, from the Stockyards to Oak Cliff. "We want to bring people together," he said.

Gosh. Tarrant County had better be included.

For one thing, more of the district's voters live in Tarrant County.

For another, Garcia and several Dallas County opponents are up against three established Tarrant County officials: state Rep. Marc Veasey, Fort Worth City Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks and county Justice of the Peace Manuel Valdez.

Garcia will bring both money and political clout to a campaign that will be hard-fought, probably past the May 29 primary into a July 31 runoff.

But when he unfurled his list of supporters Thursday, it included only a few Fort Worth names: school Trustee Carlos Vasquez, former Mayor Pro Tem Louis Zapata, and organization leaders Jodi Perry and Renny Rosas.

Even on Garcia's website, Tarrant County is an afterthought.

Vasquez is listed beneath a Dallas trustee. Zapata, the trailblazer for Hispanic elected officials, is listed far below a former Dallas mayor pro tem. We notice that stuff.

"You're right, and we'll remedy that," Garcia said about the website.

"I am committed to making Tarrant County a focal point," he said. A campaign office will open on North Main Street in two weeks, he said.

Vasquez, running his own campaign for Texas House, gave Garcia a rousing endorsement. Vasquez noted all the Dallas Democrats and said, "I hope he does for Tarrant County what the Democrats have done in Dallas County."

West, one of Texas' most prominent African-American elected officials, said the race shouldn't be about counties -- "It should be about working together to elect the best candidate for America."

Veasey countered Thursday by announcing the endorsement of Democratic U.S. Rep. Al Green of Houston. Veasey also has support from organized labor and from former Reps. Martin Frost and Jim Wright, along with current and former Fort Worth elected officials.

So far, Garcia is playing on the visiting team.

Bud Kennedy's column appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays. 817-390-7538

Twitter: @budkennedy

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