Fort Worth

At Least Five Candidates Will Likely Vie for Fort Worth Mayor

Mayor Betsy Price announced Tuesday she would not seek a sixth term

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Two city council members, a state lawmaker, a political activist and a prominent attorney are possible candidates to replace Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.

Price, the longest-serving mayor in Fort Worth history, announced Tuesday she would not seek re-election to a sixth two-year term.  

Tarrant County Democratic Chair Deborah Peoples, a retired AT&T executive, said she planned to run.

Peoples challenged Price two years ago, losing by about 14%.

"We are one Fort Worth,” Peoples said. "We have to try to find a way to bring everybody together and work to build an inclusive, welcoming city."

City council member Ann Zadeh said she wanted to hear from voters before she decided.

Longtime Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price announced Tuesday she will not run for reelection and will end her time at City Hall at 10 years, setting a record for service in the mayor’s office.

"I'm very, very, very seriously considering it,” Zadeh said. "We definitely have a shared future for all of Fort Worth so it's important to me that any decisions that I make about how I serve this community are based on what I hear from the community."

City council member Brian Byrd referred questions about his possible candidacy to a spokesman who said Byrd planned to announce his intentions in the next week.

Byrd, a physician, pushed the city to open a community center and improve the historically troubled Las Vegas Trail area.

Texas Rep. Ramon Romero (D-Fort Worth), who's in the swimming pool and construction business, also counted himself as a possible candidate.

"I'm definitely thinking about it and I may be in, depending how the conversations go moving forward,” Romero said. "I feel the pain, certainly, coming from southeast Fort Worth. A lot of the communities feel as long as we're growing, they don't necessarily have to pay attention to this side of town, the other side of (Interstate) 35." 

Dee Kelly Jr., a well-connected Fort Worth attorney with ties to the city's business establishment, appears likely to run.

"Today is Betsy's day," he said in an email. "I'll be making a statement later in the week about my intentions."

Kelly has been known as a behind-the-scenes force in city politics for years but has never run himself.

The deadline for candidates to file is next month. The election is in May.

With so many candidates potentially in the race, a runoff may be likely.

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