With days to go until the June 5 election, Fort Worth’s mayoral candidates are working to secure as much support from voters in the final days of their spirited race for city mayor.
The candidates vying to replace current Mayor Betsy Price, who announced in January she would not seek re-election for a sixth term, are former Democratic Chair for Tarrant County Deborah Peoples and Mayor Price’s former chief of staff Mattie Parker. NBC 5 caught up with both candidates on Wednesday ahead of the election.
Peoples tells NBC 5, her strategy for the next few days on the campaign trail are no different than how she would spend her days if it weren’t an election cycle. It’s all about making one-on-one connections, Peoples said.
“This is what I do. I love this city. I love all the neighbors that make up this city. So, I’m engaged and involved in these neighborhoods 365 days a year,” she said Wednesday. “What got us here on May 1 is the trust and faith of the people that we talk to. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Peoples and Parker made it out of a crowded field in the May general election. Asked what her top priorities would be if elected Mayor, Peoples pointed to job growth and a focus on inclusion in the fast-growing city.
“I have met with groups all over the city from our Asian-American Pacific Islander constituents to our Hispanic, Mexican-American constituents to our African-American constituents, to our white constituents. Many people feel they have not been included in this process in building this great city,” Peoples said.
NBC 5 posed the same question to Parker, who pointed to several areas such as furthering educational opportunities, the city’s budget, and the local economy as Fort Worth emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.
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“Companies thinking about relocating across the country, we want them to think about Fort Worth first and foremost,” Parker said. “The second big thing is to promote small business and entrepreneurship in our city to make sure they are the bedrock foundation of any healthy city.”
Parker has been endorsed by Mayor Price for the position, along with the Fort Worth Police Officers Association and the Fort Worth Professional Firefighters Association. Asked about her strategy in the final days leading up to the election, she said the most important aspect was getting out the vote.
“We know where we are in early voting in terms of demographics and in terms of who’s turned out. I think it’s poised to be a historic turnout even beyond what we saw on the first round, which is great and really getting who we think are Mattie Parker voters back to the polls,” she said. “We have really left it on the field, so to speak.”
A message both Parker and Peoples shared on Wednesday was the importance of participating in the local election process.
“We need you at the polls to voice your concern and your enthusiasm for your city,” Parker said. “I have said this many times over…I’m so optimistic for the future of Fort Worth and optimistic about what is possible for our community.”
Local elections matter and impact every day life, Peoples stressed.
“People of color and women struggled heartily to get this right to vote,” she said. “For me, it’s a sacred duty to go out and vote in every election. If you don’t want to lean back on history, look at what’s happening in your life right now and know by voting in a local election, you have a chance to impact that.”
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. For more information on voting in Tarrant county, click here.