David G. Wallace
||This biographical article is written like a résumé. (December 2008)|
David Gordon Wallace is an American businessman, politician, and author from the state of Texas.
|David G. Wallace|
|Mayor of Sugar Land, Texas|
May 2002 – July 2008
|Preceded by||Dean A. Hrbacek|
|Succeeded by||James A. Thompson|
|Residence||Sugar Land, Texas|
|Alma mater||University of North Texas|
David Wallace attended Union College in Schenectady, New York, and later received a scholarship at the University of Reading in England for international studies in Real Estate, Finance and Law, before graduating from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate Finance.
Before his foray into politics, Wallace was a businessman and "turnaround specialist," having worked in the process of acquiring and/or creating over 100 companies and partnerships in a wide range of industries, ranging from petroleum products to telecommunications. Consequently, Wallace has been involved in a number of insolvent and bankrupt businesses as a result of working with these “turnaround” companies.
He has also served the Sugar Land community in a number of capacities, which has resulted in his receipt of a number of special appointments, recognitions and awards, including: appointment to the Homeland Security Task Force by Secretary Chertoff; appointment to the Texas One Economic Development Corporation by Governor Rick Perry; appointment to the board of directors of the Texas Comptrollers Safe Keeping Fund; 2005 Fort Bend Rotary Club Humanitarian of the Year Award: 2005 Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow Award; 2005 Fort Bend YMCA Past Presidents’ Award; National Emergency Response & Rescue Training-Certificate of Completion of Senior Officials, Workshop for WMD/Terrorism Incident Preparedness; Texas Municipal League Certificate of Achievement-State Recognition, Fort Bend Association of Realtors 2000 Volunteer of the Year and Fort Bend YMCA 1999 Volunteer of the Year.
Wallace also served on the Margaret Thatcher Foundation as a founding board member and treasurer until 2006 when the U.S. and European foundations merged. Wallace had business relationships with the Thatcher family through Lady Thatcher's son Mark Thatcher. The Margaret Thatcher Foundation was founded by the former British Prime Minister to promote capitalism, democracy, principles of freedom and rules of law, in countries that were once controlled by Communist rule.
Wallace later chaired the Investment Committee for the Perry Properties Realty Investment Fund which was affiliated with Will Perry, the son of top Republican contributor and homebuilder Bob Perry, until Wallace was bought out by Will Perry in 2006. In January 2007, Perry filed a lawsuit against Wallace for fraud. However, depositions later revealed the lawsuit was designed to ruin Wallace’s political career. Subsequently, in 2008, Perry ultimately filed personal bankruptcy.
In 2001, Wallace was elected to Sugar Land City Council as a Single District Member representing District Four.
During the first year of his first term as a member of City Council, Wallace decided to pursue a mayoral campaign against the three-term incumbent mayor Dean A. Hrbacek, also a Republican; the city of Sugar Land is heavily Republican. Wallace gained support of the Fort Bend County Republican Party Chair Eric Thode with whom he had a political alliance, and other prominent leaders in Fort Bend County, including former Sugar Land Mayor Lee Duggan. Wallace defeated Hrbacek in May 2002, winning approximately 55% of the vote.
Since being elected, Wallace has guided Sugar Land policies and presided over a robust economy that resulted in lower property taxes, new jobs and upgraded infrastructure. During his tenure as mayor, Wallace worked as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and was co-chairman of the Urban Water Council for the United States Conference of Mayors, as well as co-chairman for the conference's Homeland Security Task Force.
During his tenure, Sugar Land was named third in “Best Places to Live” in America by MONEY Magazine and CNN/Money, America’s Fifth Safest City by CQ Press, one the 100 Best Communities for Young People (three consecutive years), the nation’s first Community of Respect by the Anti-Defamation League and many more.
Also during Wallace's time as mayor, Sugar Land moved city offices into a newly completed city hall located in the new $200 million Sugar Land Town Square, oversaw the $30 million expansion and addition of a new terminal to its regional airport, recruited many corporate headquarter relocations to drive economic development to the city and worked on the expansion of First Colony Mall. Wallace's second term also saw the debut of Sugar Land's first in-city Public-access television cable TV channel.
While mayor, Wallace negotiated with Minute Maid to relocate their headquarters to Sugar Land.
In 2004, Wallace was reelected with no opposition, and ran unopposed again in 2006. Wallace elected not to run again during 2008.
In 2005, while serving as mayor, Wallace sought out a private development company, Cherokee Investments, to redevelop the Imperial Sugar Company’s original site constructed more than 160 years ago. Also in need of a local partner, Wallace turned to a local real estate development firm. Wallace had co-invested with this local developer on other real estate investments. So, in order to protect the City of Sugar Land, the city manager and Wallace made the decision to create a “so-called” ﬁrewall around Wallace’s future involvement with the project to ensure there was not even a perception of a conﬂict of interest.
2006 Congressional Election
While Wallace ran unopposed in 2006, a political development was happening at the federal level in Sugar Land. On the night of April 3, 2006, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay decided to retire from Congress instead of facing a difficult re-election bid (for a twelfth term). On June 9, 2006, he officially resigned from Congress. DeLay has been the focus of an indictment issued in Travis County, Texas stemming from his funding of Republican candidates through such groups as TRMPAC, which funded Texas candidates, and ARMPAC, which funded federal candidates.
However, Texas Republicans were unsuccessful in removing DeLay's name from the ballot after Democrats won a court ruling to keep Delay's name on the ballot. As a last resort, DeLay withdrew from the election and left the campaign to a write-in candidate, which opened the doors for Wallace. At that time, Wallace seriously explored the possibility of a write-in campaign.
However, Republican Party precinct chairs ultimately endorsed Wallace's opponent, Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, to face Democrat Nick Lampson—a former Congressman from Beaumont who moved to Stafford, north of Sugar Land, with the original intent of challenging DeLay before he dropped out.
Even though Wallace previously indicated that he would continue to run even if Sekula-Gibbs received the party's endorsement, he announced on August 21, 2006, that he would abandon his write-in campaign and endorse Sekula-Gibbs, who won the remainder of Tom DeLay's unexpired term in a special election. Nick Lampson would go on to win the general election despite a strong showing by Sekula-Gibbs and a visit by President George W. Bush and U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison just days before the election.
Wallace also announced that he would not run for re-election as mayor of Sugar Land. However, he did not rule out a run for the 22nd Congressional District seat in 2008, which is expected to be a competitive race as the district is heavily Republican; in 2004, George W. Bush defeated John Kerry in this district by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Additionally, Bush carried Fort Bend County, where Sugar Land is situated, by a double-digit margin.
David Wallace is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, L.P., a real estate development firm specializing in single-family lot subdivisions, commercial land development, mixed-use town centers, vertical retail and office development.
Among the company’s many real estate development ventures is SWB Heritage Square Partners L.P., which emphasizes several projects in Waco, Texas, including an ambitious project known as Waco Town Square.
Most recently, Wallace wrote a book entitled, One Nation Under Blog. The book shares Wallace’s first-hand experience with the impact of blogs while in public service as Mayor of Sugar Land, Homeland Security Advisory Council appointee and contributor to a nationally recognized Internet safety program. It was published by Brown Books Publishing Group.