Texas newspaper rescinds endorsement of GOP official over racial concerns

The Dallas Morning News's editorial board is withdrawing its recommendation for a Republican running for county commissioner after the candidate acknowledged setting up a trust for his children with a provision rewarding them if they married white people.

The newspaper's editorial board said that it had initially threw its support behind Vickers Cunningham for Dallas County Commissioners Court because it felt his career as a state district judge had made him the most qualified candidate for the job.

"However, recent developments have caused us to reconsider, and we are withdrawing our recommendation of Cunningham," the editorial board wrote Friday.

"That decision is based on several pieces of information that have come to light in the final days of this campaign, in which Cunningham is competing against lawyer and businessman J.J. Koch."

In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, Cunningham denied that he was a racist, but acknowledged that in 2010 he set up a living trust for his children. That trust offers disbursements of funds at different milestones in their lives.

Among those milestones is marriage, he said. But certain conditions apply.

"I'm supporting what my beliefs are," he said in the interview. "I strongly support traditional family values, that if you marry a person of the opposition sex, that's caucasian, that's Christian, they will get a distribution."

Cunningham's estranged brother also told the newspaper that the candidate had long used the N-word, and a former campaign aide also asserted that he repeatedly used the word.

Cunningham claimed in the interview with the Morning News that he only used the word while in court "in context of a trial."

"Dallas County Commissioners Court Precinct 2 deserves better than the candidates in this runoff," the editorial board concluded Friday.