Ballinger mayor Dawni Seymore was elected in November, winning by a mere 3 votes over former mayor Sam Mallory. With 5 weeks in office, Seymore was 1 of 100 women invited to the White House for the Women Municipal Leader’s Conference on December 12th.

The Ballinger budget has been at the forefront of the news since 2018 while the city council and city manager are still working to rein in the spending. To that end, Seymore didn’t use any city funds for her trip to Washington. Seymore said that support from within the community for the trip was stunning, “It was tremendously satisfying to not use city funds for the trip and shows our community is supportive and generous.”

Seymore and the other 99 women on the trip met vice president Pence. Seymore was asked what the most surprising part of the trip was, “Getting to meet VP Pence and how incredibly welcoming and supportive other female leaders were.  Everyone who worked at the White House complex were helpful and very friendly.” She spoke specifically of meeting vice president Pence, “ That was a treat!  He has a very commanding presence but humble. He seems genuine and caring.  He stayed as long as he could and took pictures with as many as he could and didn't seem put out by it.”  Seymore also commented about the Christmas season decorations and the Christmas spirit, “The Christmas decorations were amazingly beautiful and again, everyone was helpful and kind.”

One of the goals of the event was to connect city leaders and Seymore says that she met community leaders from all over the country, “There were 100 women in attendance and I did get welcomed into a little group of amazing women who are eager to help me and offer wisdom and council when I need it.  I made great contacts, one being the mayor of Fort Worth, which I'm excited about.  She seems like a tough, intelligent woman and a good person to have in your circle.”

Seymore says that the experience was positive and believes it will benefit her and the city, “I thought it was a valuable experience and one that I hope to enjoy next year.  I learned a lot and made great contacts, which will certainly help me moving forward as the new mayor.  Again, it was not paid by city funds! It was worth every penny just for the contacts and relationships.”

One thing Seymore was adamant about, was not using city funds for the trip and wanted to thank those who made the trip possible, “I give a big shout out and thank you to Ginger Turner, Big County Realty, Industrial Board and my husband, Matt Seymore and the citizens of Ballinger for their support.”