Good morning McKinney—And happy Friday to you.
Today I bring you the third installment of my three-part series covering the McKinney mayoral candidates.
I sat down with Mr. Danny Bishop at Filtered Coffee for my last interview of the lot. We had never met before, and I kept my eyes peeled for a gentleman in overalls, as I had discovered this was his typical uniform of choice. To my disappointment, Mr. Bishop did not arrive to our meeting in the denim livery, but he did relay a story about wearing them to The French Room in downtown Dallas to receive The Multi-Cultural Philanthropic Award given to him by The Meadows Museum.
“I didn’t know it was a fancy joint. Everybody had tuxes on. I had to climb up there with these overalls on and look at the finest of Dallas, the most elite in Dallas in a pair of overalls…When I decided to run for mayor, my wife told me to ‘put your overalls on and be yourself. Don’t ever change who you are.’
I tell you this first because I believe the statement above holistically describes Mr. Bishop to a T. He is philanthropic. He wears overalls. He respects his wife. He desires to be himself and no one else. What you see is what you get with Danny Bishop. There is no hidden agenda behind his deep Texas drawl. None.
As we sat down to visit, Mr. Bishop did not hold back in telling me about his life in McKinney or the pride he feels for the three generations of family before him who also called McKinney their home. His grandfather moved here from a small town near Paris, Texas and settled in The Mill Block; at the time the Block was a small community of homes near McKinney’s Cotton Mill. Soon after arriving in McKinney, Bishop’s grandfather heard the Cotton Mill was looking to hire a new electrician. Having left his farming business behind near Paris, Grandfather Bishop was in the market for a new job. He checked out a book on electrical trades from the public library, read it cover-to-cover and was hired.
I delved into my first somewhat-political question and ask why he wants to be our mayor. “It has been in the back of my head for a long time,” he told me, and then explained how inspired he felt by his 3rd grade teacher at Fanny Finch Elementary, Mrs. Helen Hall.
“I saw her as a servant to the community. She never was into politics; she was more concerned with preserving our history on a state level. She served the community in such a way that I want to do the same. I didn’t go into this mayor’s race with a huge agenda. I don’t drag in all these political concepts and ideas. I know the problems this city faces and I go there to serve it.”
It is this ‘lack-of-platform’ campaign that sets him apart from his opponents. He feels extreme passion regarding McKinney’s challenges, but has not entered the race with new policy in hand.
Bishop freely admits he is not an expert on many things, but knows people that are and, like his grandfather who learned the electrical trade from a book borrowed from the library, Mr. Bishop is keen on research, “The big debate is how will we reduce the tax-rate…my belief is that appraisal values are over-inflated. And how do we change that? Well, I’m still researching…”
His opponents have been keen on discussing a retail development strategy as the primary approach to lowering our city’s tax burden. Bishop disagrees. He believes the answer has less to do with retail development and more in bringing industry to our city. “Industry is our future,” he told me.
Throughout our entire meeting, Mr. Bishop’s transparency and candor was refreshing and showed real humanity. When it came to answering policy-related questions, his answers were simple and honest.
What would your mission statement be should you take office?
“It’s not an agenda, it’s service. I can’t elaborate on that. My mission is to serve.”
What would you hope to accomplish in the first ninety days of office?
“I want the community to set the first ninety days, and for their voice to be heard.”
And how would you do that?
“I would create an online census to residents asking top-notch questions. Not everyone can make it to the Chamber or Council meetings. This way everyone’s voice can be heard.”
What is your favorite thing about McKinney?
Of the three candidates, Danny Bishop was the most surprising to me. He is self-deprecating and quick to laugh. He is comfortable in his skin and unapologetic of it. He wants to be our mayor, although his background isn’t in home or city development. Instead, his past includes times laboring as an electrician, working construction on movie sets, teaching cinema at SMU and presently as a Prosper ISD bus driver.
Mr. Bishop’s grassroot childhood provided him a simple, respectful outlook on life, and like the city that holds his devotion, Danny Bishop is most certainly unique by nature. May that never change, Mr. Bishop.
-ciao for now-
For more information regarding the Bishop for Mayor Campaign, please visit his Facebook page:
*No compensation was acquired for the publication of this article. The Art of Living Beautifully has no affiliation with the Bishop for Mayor Campaign.