Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk endorses Colin Allred for Congress in District 32 runoff

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Former U.S. Trade Rep. Ron Kirk is backing Colin Allred in the Democratic runoff for Congressional District 32.

“When President Obama gave his farewell address, he spoke of a next generation of leaders who..’are willing to carry this hard work of democracy forward,” Kirk said Friday in a statement released by Allred’s campaign. “Colin Allred is that next generation of leaders for North Texas.”

Allred is in a May 22 runoff against former Department of Agriculture deputy undersecretary Lillian Salerno.

On Tuesday Allred finished first in a seven-person field, besting Salerno, the second-place finisher, by a huge margin.

Democratic candidates for congressional district 32 Lillian Salerno, right, looks at Brett Shipp during a meeting with the Dallas Morning News editorial board in Dallas, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Jae S. Lee/The Dallas Morning News)

Former television reporter Brett Shipp was just behind Salerno.

During a recording of Sunday’s edition of Lone Star Politics, which airs at 8:30 a.m. on KXAS (NBC-5), Allred, a former NFL player turned civil rights lawyer, said he would continue to build the grassroots organization necessary to beat incumbent Republican Pete Sessions, and touted his close connections to the district as a reason he’s been successful in the heavily competitive contest. Salerno said her campaign had momentum and her experience as a mother, small businesswoman and public servant made her the best choice.

Sessions cruised to victory in his lightly contested GOP primary.

Kirk, the former Dallas mayor, waited until the runoff to make his choice.

“There is no question Colin has the deep roots and experience needed to represent North Texas in Congress,” he said. “A fellow alumnus of the Obama Administration and civil rights attorney, Colin saw first hand while working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development the struggles families face trying to make ends meet.”

He agreed that Allred’s favorite son status in the district would help against Sessions.

“When you combine that professional experience with his personal story of being raised in the district by a single mother who worked two jobs, you have a candidate who can inspire voters and win in November,” Kirk said.

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