24-Year-Old Candidate Leads Pack As Local Runoff Approaches

Luis Canosa
Luis Canosa | Image by Young Republicans of Texas/X, Flag/Canva

At just 24 years old, Luis Canosa, a candidate for Irving City Council Place 4, has defeated opponents twice his age and is leading the political pack heading into the June runoff.

He recently told The Dallas Express that his campaign is guided by his political instincts and contact with voters. Indeed, one of his first moves as a candidate was to fire a campaign consultant who told him to say the same things as everybody else. He said he prides himself on the fact that his platform is “[more] concrete [than] his opponents … and has lots of ideas.”

These ideas, enumerated in his campaign literature, include reducing crime, removing pornography from the kids section of public libraries, and building cheaper single-family homes.

Canosa spoke passionately about the issue of crime.

“I’ve met many families as I was moving in [to my current place in Irving], they were moving out,” he told DX. “The main issue was crime.”

Irving recently saw a double homicide and fatal high-speed car chase.

Canosa sees criminal activity in Irving, which he was recently told by residents has included attempted child abductions, as something that holds down the quality of life in the city and serves as a barrier to investment. He said the city needs to hire more police officers.

“We just need more officers, more of a presence … [we need them] to be out there,” the candidate said, referencing Irving’s police shortage.

Dallas also struggles with public safety, fielding only around 3,000 officers even though an analysis recommended roughly 4,000 would be more appropriate for a jurisdiction of that size.

When it comes to public libraries, Canosa takes a nuanced view of what material children can access. Irving’s public library has been a subject of controversy in recent years because the children’s section contains books with sexual themes.

This has created a legal firestorm. While many would like to see such books banned entirely, First Amendment experts and attorneys like Nadine Strossen have noted the tangled constitutional web that such a ban could create. During an appearance on the Cowtown Caller podcast, Strossen said that book bans from public institutions could violate the rights of the author, those who want to consume the material, and parents who are okay with their kids consuming such material.

Canosa told DX he eschews a ban and would prefer the material be placed in a separate section of the library so that it is not with the general stock of children’s books.

Housing has also become a significant issue in his race, and the front-runner spent a great deal of time discussing it. He told DX that he wants to see Irving transition from being a city of large apartment complexes to one of safe and affordable single-family housing. He lamented the fact that wealthy families consistently choose Flower Mound over Irving because the kind of security they want is only available in Irving in a gated community.

“Irving has a very big issue,” he said. “It has the lowest homeownership rate in all of Texas.” He lamented that large and unattractive apartment complexes that “look like they are drawn by a three-year-old with a ruler” are often the site of criminal activity. His plan would include “more code enforcement” against these complexes and changing the zoning regulations to favor single-family housing over high-density housing.

Homelessness has become another issue for Irving. There is an ongoing question about how to use nearly $3 million in federal grant money and whether it should be used for a homeless shelter. A politically delicate, informal, and tentative earmark deal is currently set to direct the dollars to a domestic violence shelter project.

However, the future of that deal may rest on this next election and who is elected to Place 4. If Canosa wins, there will be a six-vote supermajority against the shelter. Electing Susan Motley would likely solidify the four-seat coalition supporting the shelter.

Canosa has spoken fiercely against the project.

“If the homeless shelter had been approved, Irving would be on a path to seeing a big surge in homelessness,” Canosa previously said in an interview with DX.

“The fact that my opponent considers it a ‘shame’ that building a homeless shelter in Irving was defeated by just one vote proves that she is out of touch with the residents of District 4,” he added, referring to a prior attempt at getting such a project off the ground.

“Families move to Irving instead of Dallas because the magnitude of certain problems is much smaller in the suburbs. It doesn’t make sense for Irving to use its limited resources to open a homeless shelter so costly that the $3 million [Department of Housing and Urban Development] grant would disappear like a drop in the bucket and leave the taxpayers holding the bag.”

He warned that homeless shelters could become magnets for socially harmful behaviors, including drug addiction, crime, and mental illness.

“We need to use law enforcement to arrest criminals dealing drugs and to restrict panhandling in areas where it is unsafe to do so. We don’t need to invest tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to put in place ineffective programs that will just serve as magnets for the homeless of Dallas,” he added in the previous interview with DX.

Motley appeared to signal the opposite position in a candidate questionnaire.

When asked, “What is your position on a congregate shelter for the homeless in Irving?” Motley conceded she needed more information on various types of homeless centers, including congregate housing facilities.

She then linked to a video from a city council meeting where city staff supported building a homeless shelter in Irving.

“While it would not solve homelessness in Irving, it might help, yet many (but not all) of our existing leaders seemed not to want to use available funds for this,” Motley said. DX previously contacted Motley for clarification, but she did not respond by the time of publication.

Even Canosa’s housing status, or alleged lack thereof, has become controversial in a campaign that has become increasingly harsh in recent weeks. Social media channels have recently become flooded with claims he does not live in Irving.

DX became aware of these claims shortly after our interview. We investigated the claims by speaking with the candidate’s landlord via telephone. He told us that he owns a house in which Canosa has lived for two years and that the property is located in Irving.

Some of the rumors about Canosa’s place of residence were allegedly spread by Matt Varble. Varble was an unsuccessful candidate for Irving City Council in 2023. He faced extensive misconduct allegations, which included political censorship, harassment of women, and mishandling the finances of the Home Owners Association for which he served as president, DX previously reported. He denied all wrongdoing at the time.

Aside from door-knocking and attending events, Canosa recently took his campaign to the airwaves by appearing for a half-hour interview on the Cowtown Caller podcast. He claimed that his campaign has received major support from younger voters, which he attributes to his willingness to engage with them in ways they find accessible.

If this is true, it reflects an ongoing national shift with voters. Recent national polling has indicated a major political shift from voters under the age of 25 away from President Biden and toward former President Trump in the upcoming presidential election in November.

Canosa is a young businessman and philanthropist. He went to college at age 15 and is a professional violinist.

According to her website, Motley is a lawyer and former partner at Wood Weatherly Trial Law in Denton. Her platform includes fiscal responsibility, reliability in city services, and promoting public safety.

She previously ran for the Texas House in 2014. At the time, she was reported to be a member of and endorsed by the left-leaning Texas Organizing Project. The organization says criminal justice reform is its number one issue and has previously endorsed abolishing the police.

“I am not a member of the Texas Organizing Project, a statewide group whose political action committee endorsed me a decade ago in a partisan race for a seat in the Texas House,” Motely said when asked by DX about this. “My hyper-partisan opponent has tried to use this fact to argue or imply that I support defunding the police, which is a lie. As a lawyer, I work every day to enforce our laws, and I recognize and support the vital role police officers and other members of law enforcement play in our community. If elected, I look forward to working with Irving’s Police and Fire Departments to help keep our community safe.”

This statement appears at odds with Motley’s publicly available resume, which we did not discover until after our exchange with her, wherein Motely lists her membership in TOP. When confronted with this resume by DX, Motley stated that the resume was old and from the mid-2010s.

Canosa faced down a crowded six-person field in the May 4 election and took a 7-point lead, 33% to Motley’s 26%.

Early voting in the Irving City Council race begins on June 3 and continues through June 11. Election day is Saturday, June 15.

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