Born and raised in Dallas, Dwaine Caraway, 66, served as the representative of District Four from 2007 to 2015, when he was term-limited out of office. After a mandatory two-year sitting out period, Caraway was re-elected to his old seat in 2017 for another two-year term.
During his council tenure, Caraway was twice elected Mayor Pro Tem and he briefly served as mayor of Dallas in 2011 when Tom Leppert resigned the position to run for the U.S. Senate.
Caraway’s biography notes that he has championed many issues for his district in Southern Dallas, a wedge-shaped plot that stretches from just south of downtown to Loop 12 and from I-45 to just west of I-35E.
Among his listed accomplishments, closing down “crime-plagued hot sheet motels and drug houses in South Dallas and Oak Cliff."
But Caraway’s political footprint often extended well beyond the boundaries of the territory he represented. Never one to shy aware from the limelight and controversy, Caraway used his city hall megaphone to:
— Advocate for stricter gun control and rebuke the NRA, urging the gun rights group to go somewhere else following the announcement that the organization was coming to Dallas for its annual convention in 2018.
— Unsuccessfully pushed for a city-wide plastic bag ban, and eventually, a plastic bag ordinance. But the restrictive measure, which created a cost for the use of plastic shopping bags, was repealed six months after in went into effect. Caraway fumed publicly that the ordinance’s demise was brought about by money and pressure coming from big industry. He told citizens at the time, “We sit here on behalf of you. We're supposed to represent you and we're supposed to protect you, and not be run over like a train behind money relationships."
— The “anti-sagging” campaign. Caraway publicly shamed those who let their pants sag, organizing a movement and even a ‘sagging summit’ to encourage people to pull their pants up.
During his time away from city council, Caraway made a run against incumbent John Wiley Price for the Dallas County Commissioner District Three seat. Caraway lost, but the biggest headline from that race came about a week before the vote tally when the two candidates and their entourages appeared at a gospel radio station for a debate. The face-off turned ugly and personal, ending in a videotaped, expletive-filled confrontation in which the two candidates had to be separated.