By Wyatt Goolsby
MIDLAND - A tough decision for a Midland City Councilman. On Monday, Bill Dingus resigned from his seat. By sacrificing his position, he's hoping to get a shot at winning a State Representative seat.
A federal judge said last week Dingus couldn't run for the District 82 seat, because he had not resigned from the City Council. However, he is taking steps to make sure he'll stay on the ballot to run against Tom Craddick come November.
Bill Dingus told NewsWest 9 on Monday he feels stuck between a rock and a hard place. Originally, he said he went by one 1996 law which said he could run for State Representative while being on the City Council. But other Texas laws say no, you can't do both at the same time. He said the decision to resign is actually his way of showing how committed he is to Midland Residents.
"The day I got on the City Council, if you'd ask me, ‘Do you think you'll ever resign from your seat?' I would have said no," explained Dingus. "I mean, this means too much to me. It's too important to me, and I'm too honored to do this. But here we are today, and I feel that I am compelled to resign today."
It may sound a little strange, but Bill Dingus said he'll actually serve Tall City Voters better by leaving his position. But Monday, he also said he wants to clear up all the confusion.
"My name was not removed from the ballot, I was not said to be ineligible but this judge. What he said was, in my opinion, he would be ineligible. But he wasn't being asked to decide my eligibility," said Dingus.
But, Dingus said he won't risk any questions about his campaign come November. That's why he said he will soon take legal steps to make sure he is not removed from the ballot.
"I don't want to give away our strategies, and I'm not really sure we fully know the exact course we are going to take," added Dingus. "We are waiting to see what happens."
The bottom line, he said, he wants to make sure voters have a choice in the coming months.
"I'll say this much, regardless of the outcome of this campaign, I'm very peaceful with my decision to resign, because it's the right thing to do, and I'm proud of it," Dingus explained.He also said if you don't vote for him in the election, ok, but he said it just seems Un-American not to have a choice on that ballot. Even though he did resign Monday, his At-Large City Council seat is technically not vacant until either the City Council accepts the resignation, or after eight days. Then, the City Council will call a special election to replace the seat.