Runoff to decide Fort Worth's first new mayor in a decade

FORT WORTH, TX - JULY 26: Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price looks on during a press conference before the start of the 2013 Mayor's Cup on July 26, 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway) (Cooper Neill, 2013 Getty Images)

FORT WORTH, Texas – The race to become Fort Worth’s first new mayor in a decade is heading to a runoff.

Deborah Peoples and Mattie Parker were the top vote-getters Saturday night in a wide field of 10 candidates. Peoples is chairwoman of the Tarrant County Democratic Party and would become Fort Worth's first Black mayor if elected. Parker is the former chief of staff to outgoing Mayor Betsy Price and carried the endorsement of city business leaders.

The runoff is June 5.

The winner is set to take over a rapidly changing Fort Worth, where Price remains the only Republican mayor of Texas' big cities. Fort Worth has grown to nearly 1 million residents and Democrats have made fast inroads in surrounding Tarrant County, which had been of the GOP's biggest strongholds in Texas.

Price was first elected in 2011 and is Fort Worth's longest-serving mayor. Her city was shaken in 2019 by the police shooting of Atatiana Jefferson, a Black woman killed when an officer fired a gunshot through a window of her mother's home. The white officer, Aaron Dean, resigned and awaits trial on a murder charge.