The Reluctancy of Don Duff

During a forum hosted by Denton chapters of the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens, Don Duff told the audience he did not trust Mayor Pro Tem Sara Bagheri based on a Facebook post she made earlier this month.

Duff was extremely angry about the Facebook post. 

“You better believe I will never trust [Bagheri] again,” Duff said during the forum. “If she writes something like that again, it will come back to bite her big time.” 

Bagheri isn’t worried about Duff, though.

“I’ll work with anyone who is elected. I am used to getting yelled at by men when I point out they are wrong,” Bagheri told The Dentonite in response to Duff’s comments.

“When [the election] comes around next year, [Bagheri] won’t get any votes out here,” Duff later told The Dentonite. “You can’t win without Robson Ranch.”

Robson Ranch, a predominately white retirement center according to Duff, cast 1,855 votes in the last election. Duff received 1,204 votes from residents at Robson Ranch and only 33 throughout the rest of District 3. 

In addition to Duff's disdain toward Bagheri, there were other eventful moments during the forum.

Senate Bill 4

To refresh your memory, Senate Bill 4 was recently signed into law by Governor Abbott and aims to ban "sanctuary cities" in the state of Texas. 

“I don’t care if someone came from Flower Mound or France,” Paul Meltzer said. “I care about the crime, not where they came from.”

Duff had strong opinions. “When an illegal commits a crime, they need to be jailed and they need to be turned over to ICE to get them out of our country,” Duff said. “We have a Sheriff that is pretty much on that page.” 

“The problem here is people commit crimes and are here illegally. We need to figure out how to get them out of here,” Duff said.

Meltzer reminded Duff that criminality among people who are here illegally is lower than that of people who are here legally

Diversity & Hiring in our Community

The candidates were later asked what they could do to help to help encourage diversity in hiring in our community. 

Duff immediately named the NAACP for not being active enough.

“I’m looking at NAACP and LULAC and saying, ‘Hey Guys,’” Duff said, “‘Why don’t you become proactive? Why don’t you do something about it?’”

“I’d really like to see your organizations do something about this,” he continued.

Earlier this year, the North Texas Daily reported that the Denton NAACP has been low on active members and funding lately. 

“There is underrepresentation in minority groups both in general and at a managerial level,” Meltzer said. ”I think it is important for the city to recruit qualified people and to not exclude people who are underrepresented.” 

At one point during this moderated debate, a person in the audience started heckling Meltzer. But, Jill Jester, the forum moderator, got everyone back on track. 

Non-discrimination at the Workplace

“It is a city responsibility to actively recruit to set the example for employers,” Meltzer said. 

“I think we need to create a culture that does not discriminate against anybody,” Duff said minutes after using the word “illegals” to describe other humans. 

During a phone conversation on Tuesday evening, I asked Mr. Duff if he’d stop using the word “illegals” in reference to illegal immigrants and he agreed. Duff said the word “illegals” three times during the NAACP and LULAC hosted forum. People may be living here illegally, but that does equate a person being illegal. People are not illegal. 

Later in the forum, Duff looked at Meltzer and said "I'm a conservative. What are you?”

"I'm liberal enough to change what's bad and conservative enough to keep what's good,” Meltzer said. “Anybody that isn't, has no business being on council."

Election & Voting Information

The election at hand is for the seat of District 3 and is between Robson Ranch real estate agent Don Duff and retired business executive Paul Meltzer. Neither of these two candidates received 50 percent of the total votes in the city council election earlier this month.

Early voting begins on Tuesday, May 30 and runs through Saturday, June 3 from 8 AM - 5 PM Early Voting continues on Monday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 6 between 7 AM - 7 PM. Early voting ballots can be cast at Denton County Elections Administration Office located at 701 Kimberly Drive.

Election Day is Saturday, June 10, 2017, and you can vote from 7 AM - 7 PM at North Lakes Recreation Park located at 2001 W Windsor Dr.

Header image design by Christopher Rodgers