DALLAS -- Jim Fairchild will be the new mayor of Dallas after defeating rival Ken Woods Jr. by an almost two-to-one margin.
He will be the first new mayor in Dallas for 22 years. Incumbent Mayor Gwen VanDenBosch chose not to run for re-election.
Fairchild said the wide margin is not because he is, necessarily, the better man. "Ken would have made a very good mayor," he said.
What won the election, Fairchild said, was probably footwork.
of Craven-Woods Insurance. Fairchild is a retired educator. Being retired gave him a chance to knock on doors, Fairchild said.
A lot of doors.
He estimates he may have missed 40 to 60 doors in Dallas. "Other than that, I was there at least putting my brochure on the door."
Fairchild said those other 60 doors can be explained. "Some of those people have really big dogs."
Woods knocked on doors too. His job, however, prevented him from logging as many miles as Fairchild. "Sometimes people weren't home or I gave the stuff to their kids," Woods said.
Both men serve on the Dallas City Council, Woods for 18 years and Fairchild for two.
For Woods, who grew up in Dallas and whose father served as mayor, the margin of the vote was disheartening.
"My feelings are so mixed up right now," Woods said. "I don't even know how to approach this. I have to make a decision in the next month and a half on what I decide to do here in Dallas."
Woods said he never took winning for granted. He just thought it would be a closer race. The margin is what hurts, he said.
"The voters have spoken. That's a pretty clear message they don't want you involved."
Fairchild said that's not the way to look at it. With Dallas growing, he spent much of his time knocking on doors in new neighborhoods where people didn't know about Woods' long history on the council.
The differences between them are slight, Fairchild said, but people seemed to like what he had to say.
"I know the community much, much better now," Fairchild said. "I saw some good things and I saw some things where improvement could be made."
Walking around helps, he said.
"I would recommend to any political candidate that they get out and take a look at the community."