Among the four candidates vying to become Lewisville’s next mayor, two stand out. T.J. Gilmore and Delia Parker-Mims are serious candidates with extensive civic experience. We recommend Gilmore for his proven track record and policy ideas.
Gilmore, 48, is a sales manager for an IT company. He has lived in Lewisville for 20 years and been involved in civic leadership there since 2005, when he started serving on the board of the Lewisville Community Development Block Grant Committee. He is known for his efforts to promote transparent local government as a sort of independent journalist. In 2003, after finding it difficult to get information about City Hall, Gilmore started attending City Council meetings and live-blogging his experience. He has continued community outreach efforts even since joining the council in 2010. In 2015, The Dallas Morning News gave Lewisville an A grade for transparency. Of course, that success is not all Gilmore’s, but it’s a cause he has long championed.
In that vein, Gilmore identifies engagement as one of the city’s most important needs. He wants to put the communication tools of the mayor’s office to work through: “Monthly formal events to talk with the mayor, continued ‘Compact Council’ social media live events to educate and inform what I currently do weekly, and of course more engagement with the community at their events and gatherings as we come out of Covid,” he wrote in our candidate questionnaire. “People are hungry for engagement; I think now is the time for a Mayor who already has a track record of extensive community outreach.”
Gilmore’s most experienced challenger is attorney Parker-Mims, 52. Parker-Mims has served in the boards of Denton County Child Protective Services, the Denton Black Chamber of Commerce and other organizations. She’s hawkish about fair representation, having been critical of a redistricting plan when she decided to run for Denton County commissioner in 2019. She’s also critical of Lewisville’s plan for council representation in connection with the future annexation of the Castle Hills neighborhood. In 2017, voters approved a residency requirement for council seats that would be triggered by the annexation, though the district seats would still be elected at large, as they are now. Gilmore said this approach avoids competing single-member districts, but Parker-Mims rightly points to court decisions, including some in Irving and Farmers Branch, that make at-large elections legally problematic.
Parker-Mims has an impressive resume, and we hope to see her in public office some day, but on balance, Gilmore’s achievements win out. His policy proposals are clear and specific, and he has broad support from city leaders, including current and former mayors.
Two other candidates, Tiffanie Fowler and Timothy M. Friebel Jr., are mounting smaller campaigns. Fowler, 36, is a wedding and event manager who has lived in Lewisville for four years. She has so far demonstrated a more limited understanding of the issues facing the city than Gilmore and Parker-Mims. Friebel is an HVAC technician who has lived in Lewisville for 34 years. He has produced few campaign materials and has not participated in many candidate forums.