Mattie Parker quickly took the lead over Deborah Peoples in the Fort Worth mayoral race.
The first results of the vote in Tarrant County showed that Parker had 53% of the vote against Peoples who had 47%. Almost 53,900 voted in advance.
In Parker County, where 160 people voted earlier, Parker led with 79% of the vote, and in Denton, where 510 voters voted early, Parker had 81% of the vote.
Parker, 37, and Peoples, 68, are vying for the replacement of outgoing mayor Betsy Price.
She is the founding CEO of Fort Worth Cradle to Career and Tarrant To & Through Partnership and spent five years as chief of staff for Price and City Council.
Peoples retired as vice chairman of AT&T and is the former chairman of the Tarrant County Democratic Party.
They were by far the main voters in the general election, which saw an historic turnout. The people won 22,594 votes in Tarrant, Denton and Parker counties, compared to Parker in 21,014.
After a decade in office, Price announced in January that she would not run for an unprecedented sixth term.
In many ways, Parker represented a continuation of Price’s policies for voters. She hasn’t strayed too far from Price, who backed Parker ahead of the general election.
Like Price, Parker said she would focus on early childhood education and development as a way to improve Fort Worth’s workforce and spur greater economic development. The mayor has no official role in education, but Price has used his influence to create a reading program and draw attention to the need for better care for children.
During the post-general election debates, Parker and Peoples presented different visions for moving Fort Worth forward.
On economic development, Parker said Fort Worth should study how other cities have boosted minority and women-owned businesses and introduce the city to businesses currently based in less “friendly” places like Portland. , Seattle or Detroit.
The peoples have taken a more local approach, arguing at a forum hosted by the Star-Telegram that Fort Worth should focus on helping local small businesses and working more closely with minority and women-owned businesses. .
They also differed on how to tackle the city’s growing mobility issues. Peoples said Fort Worth should invest heavily in light rail and other forms of multi-model mobility to help residents find jobs. She said funding could be found through state and federal support.
Parker said the cost was too high and that while the funding comes from outside sources, Fort Worth should make smaller and cheaper upgrades. She also wanted the city to explore new technology and carpooling programs.
The Fort Worth Police Officers Association has touted Parker as a champion of the department who would fight any effort to “fund the police.” She said the council should rely on Chief Neil Noakes and Police Comptroller Kim Neal when it comes to changing policy or creating a civilian review board.
Peoples argued that the Race and Culture Task Force’s recommendation for a civilian oversight board should be taken seriously and passed quickly.
The race was an uphill battle for both candidates.
Parker lacked significant notoriety, which she made up for with endorsements and funding from several members of the Fort Worth Old Guard. Peoples did not gain the support of the city’s powerful business community, although they did build a significant base of supporters.
The women emerged from an overcrowded group of 10 candidates in the May 1 general election. While many were new to politics, two of their opponents, Brian Byrd and Ann Zadeh, had served more than one term on city council.