Fort Worth Mayor Price Announces She Will Seek Re-Election

Betsy Price would be longest-serving mayor in Cowtown history

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price announced Thursday that she will seek an unprecedented fifth, two-year term leading Cowtown.

If successful, she would become the longest serving mayor in Fort Worth history.

Price, former Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector, was first elected in 2011.

She made the announcement at a meeting of the East Fort Worth Business Association.

So far, nobody has announced plans to challenge her.

Deborah Peoples, chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party, said she is considering running against Price but hasn't reached a decision.

"We are still talking to people and listening," Peoples said Wednesday.

Two years ago, Price beat political newcomer Chris Nettles with 70 percent of the vote. Nettles is now running for the city council.

Price, 69, has presided over huge population growth in the city – now the country’s 15th largest -- but has struggled to bring in new corporate headquarters.

A 2017 city-funded study suggested Fort Worth has an image problem and raised the prospect of Fort Worth becoming a “suburb” of Dallas.

Price, an avid bicyclist, has promoted bike lanes throughout the city and pushed healthy living. Fort Worth recently became the largest city in the country to be certified by the nonprofit health group Blue Zones.

The mayor has also supported literacy programs in schools.

Price also has addressed racial tensions. She supported the creation of a task force on race and culture following the controversial arrest of an African-American woman, Jacqueline Craig, in December 2016. Last month, the task force recommended that the city council approve a number of changes, including creating a citizens’ board to review police incidents.

Price has faced criticism from some Latino groups over what they see as a lack of support on immigration issues. Fort Worth was the only large Texas city not to challenge Senate Bill 4, which critics called a “show me your papers” law giving police too much leeway in questioning undocumented immigrants.

Price said she supports diversity but saw no benefit in joining other cities in a lawsuit. Police said the law would not change the way they deal with immigrants.

In October, Price called for an audit of Panther Island, a $1.1 billion project organized by the Tarrant Regional Water District that would create a stylish riverwalk and double the size of downtown. The district agreed to the review.

The federal government stopped funding the work amid criticism it has more to do with economic development than its original purpose of flood control. Promoters say they believe federal funding will be approved in future years.

Price has amassed a large campaign warchest. Her last finance report in July showed she had $370,373.

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