Dallas ISD administrator Garcia concedes in close school board election

A new face will soon be on the Dallas School Board.

Challenger Camile White leads Administrator Karla Garcia by 31 unofficial total votes in Saturday’s municipal elections for the seat of District 4, which represents parts of southeast Dallas, Pleasant Grove, Balch Springs and Seagoville.

Garcia gave a concession speech in the race at a Thursday morning board briefing, telling her colleagues and a group of students in attendance that she would “respect and support my community’s decision to choose a representative.” .

“I’m humbled and honored, at the end of the day, for all the great things I’ve been able to be part of,” Garcia said. “I know DISD’s future is bright.”

Over the past week, county election officials worked through approximately 500 tentative or mail-in ballots pending or rejected in countywide races, in addition to tallying mail-in ballots that arrived in delay. That process is expected to be completed by 4:30 p.m. Friday, said Dallas County Elections Communications Director Nicholas Solorzano.

For the outcome to turn in his favor, Garcia would need a boost from late-voting mail-in ballots — an outcome that seems unlikely as White did better with mail-in ballots in early voting.

Garcia could have requested a recount under state law that allows it when a race is so close or when turnout falls below 1,000 total votes, which was the case here.

Camile White, pictured here at a 2019 Dallas County Democratic Party Executive Committee meeting, will soon represent Southeast Dallas, Pleasant Grove and Seagoville on the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees.(Ben Torres / Special Contributor)

That doesn’t seem to be in play now.

White, a real estate agent and former educator, is scheduled to be seated at the next district board meeting on May 26.

With the win, White overturned a runoff in the 2019 election where she fell to Garcia, who became the school board’s youngest elected trustee and the first Latina female trustee in Dallas history. White did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Dallas administrators will be tasked with a huge decision during White’s first few months in the role: finding a replacement for outgoing superintendent Michael Hinojosa. The district’s current timeline for naming a replacement for Hinojosa is in June or July, before the start of the 2022-23 school year.

The DMN Education Lab deepens coverage and conversation about pressing education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, Garrett and Cecilia Boone, The Meadows Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University, Todd A. Williams Family Foundation, and the University of Texas at Dallas. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of Education Lab journalism.

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