By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press
DESOTO – With much anticipation, former Desoto Mayor and current Hutchins City Manager Carl O. Sherman Sr. announced Sunday he will run for the District 109 seat for Texas State Representative.
The seat is being made vacant by Democrat Helen Giddings, who announced she will not seek re-election in 2018.
Sherman will be running against DeSoto city council member Deshaundra Lockhart Jones in the March Democratic primary for the open seat. Sherman, the first African-American Mayor in DeSoto’s history, received an abundance of encouragement from stakeholders to run following last week’s announcement of retirement by Rep. Giddings.
“I am excited about the opportunity to hit the campaign trail and earn every single vote,” Sherman said,
“The people of District 109 are the most politically engaged in all of Texas – and our team of supporters will lay out a bold vision to go to Austin and get things done.”
Sherman’s tenure as Mayor includes a number of victories for southern Dallas County during his mayoral watch.
He was at the helm when DeSoto became one of the first cities in Texas to provide body cameras for police officers.
Sherman also worked to bring quality employment opportunities and business growth to the region, including leading the negotiations to attract the number one Kohl’s E-Commerce facility in the United States.
His ‘smart growth’ philosophy included securing funds to ensure access to quality, affordable housing and safe neighborhoods for every citizen, which still remains at the forefront of the city’s economic development decisions.
“We must place people in front of profits and I will work every day with this as my guiding principle,” Sherman said of his goals if elected to the District 109 seat.
The former mayor also worked with Giddings on a number of occasion in their respective roles over the years.
“As Mayor of DeSoto, I proudly partnered with Representative Giddings on a variety of issues to improve our community,” Sherman said, “I am sad to see her go, but I have the upmost respect for her tireless work on behalf of the people in House District 109. There are very few people in Texas whose lives have not been impacted by the work of Helen Giddings.”
The current Hutchins City Manager has been a part of municipal government since 2003 and he knows how to manage not only people, but large budgets. In fact, he seems to have a knack for taking a city’s economic development and turning it into a win-win situation.
Sherman also sits on the NTTA Board of Directors by the Dallas County Commissioners Court and he was the first African American in positions such as the President of the DeSoto Rotary Club, board chair of the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce, and board chair of the best Southwest Chamber of Commerce. He is also an executive member of the Dallas Regional Mobility Coalition Board and the River of Trade Corridor Coalition.
He’s a name that people know in the Best Southwest region of North Texas.
“Mayor Sherman is an experienced leader who knows how to get things done, and I am confident he will build on the successes of southern Dallas County and serve the citizens of District 109 well,” State Representative Giddings said. “He has earned my endorsement and my support.”
Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins called Mayor Sherman a “servant leader” and “coalition builder.”
“On the Dallas City Council, I partnered with him to successfully complete the $6 million Danieldale Road project and I know first-hand that his problem-solving skills will benefit Oak Cliff and all of southern Dallas County.”
DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan said she believes Sherman’s work at the local, grassroots level and experience as a business owner will bring a fresh perspective to Austin.
“Mayor Sherman understands how legislation coming out of Austin impacts local communities,” McCowan said. “We need a champion for families and community and that’s why I support Carl Sherman.”
With an outpouring of support encouraging him to run for House District 109 and after much prayer, the father of five young adults and husband to wife, Michelle announced his intent to file a little under a week ago before filing this past weekend.
“I am humbled by the support of Representative Giddings and the Mayors in her District,” Sherman concluded. “If elected, every single day I am blessed to serve I pledge to make thoughtful decisions geared toward improving the quality of life for working families. And I will fight to ensure that Austin is working for you – for high quality education, increased wages, affordable housing and better healthcare. Let’s get to work.”