Mattie Parker declared victory Saturday as the next mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, keeping it one of America’s biggest cities with a GOP mayor.
The 37-year-old Parker was in a runoff with Deborah Peoples, a former Democratic county chairwoman who would have been the city’s first Black mayor. Peoples conceded defeat as Parker had more than 53% of the vote with ballots still being counted.
Parker will succeed her former boss, outgoing Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a Republican who is retiring after 10 years and was the longest-serving mayor of the booming city that is closing in on 1 million residents.
Although the election was officially nonpartisan, it resembled a Texas battleground race: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed Parker and county GOP officials brought in activists from around the state to stop Democrats who craved a high-profile win in Texas after a letdown in 2020.
Parker is a former chief of staff to Price and founder of an educational coalition. She did not commit in her campaign to backing a police civilian review board in a city where police shootings and the 2016 arrest of a Black woman who called 911 have elevated tensions and led to protests.
In August, a white former Fort Worth police officer is scheduled to stand trial on murder charges in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, a Black woman who was fatally shot through a window in 2019.