Easy wins for Fort Worth bond program, CCPD; Zadeh-Lasater runoffMay 10, 2014
By Scott Nishimura
Fort Worth’s $292 million bond package and reauthorization of the Crime Conrrol and Prevention District passed overwhelmingly in Satiurday’s election, and Ann Zadeh and Ed Lasater headed to a June 21 runoff to replace District 9 City Councilman Joel Burns.
All seven propositions in the bond package, which was laden with transportation projects, passed easily.
The CCPD reauthorization passed by a 12,045-2,187 vote.
Zadeh, the city’s former Zoning Commission chairman, had 1,006 votes with all precincts counted, and Lasater had 772 votes. Lasater spent much of the early part of the evening deadlocked with Margot Garza, who ended up with 459 votes. Greg Hughes had 548, Bernie Scheflfler 278, and Juan Rangel III 152.
“I was hoping to make a runoff; you just never know,” Zadeh said. “There was a lot of people saying they were undecided until the very end.”
Zadeh has emphasized her experience and education in planning, and professional planning background, and she said she will maintain that course in the runoff campaign. Lasater, who could not be immediately reached Saturday night, has said his experience in making tough decisions as a former prosecutor was one quality that set himself apart.
The District 9 race turned ugly late, with a Latino group backing Hughes, saying he was the best qualified and saying an Hispanic had no chance of winning. Rangel’s candidacy was phantom; he filed, but never appeared at any campaign forums, never made the necessary finance filings, and didn’t respond to reporters’ calls.
His candidacy gave rise to speculation that Garza’s Latino critics - she angered some Latino leaders when she supported other candidates in recent elections over Ramon Romero, who won a seat in the Texas Legislature, and Sergio DeLeon, who who re-election as justice of the peace - had set Rangel up to run and dilute Garza’s vote.
Of she and Lasater, “we are both committed to a clean campaign,” Zadeh said.
Zadeh said she hadn’t secured endorsements from any of the other candidates. Hughes said Saturday night he wasn't backing anybody else "at this time." Garza said in a text message, "I'm going to enjoy tonight with my supporters."
The other candidates could not be immediately reached.
Low turnout in absentee and early in-person voting had concerned business leaders, who worried about the passage of the bond and CCPD packages.
“I think the citizens expressed a vote of confidence,” Mayor Betsy Price said Saturday night.
Of the low turnout, she noted the city had vetted the bond program extensively with citizens.
“We worked so hard vetting the election on the front end that I think people felt good about it,” she said.
Here’s how the vote in Fort Worth’s seven bond propositions broke down, with 118 of 120 precincts counted:
Proposition 1: Transportation: 11,800-2,385
Proposition 2: Parks, recreation and community: 11,100-3,058
Proposition 3: Library system improvements. 11,017-3,098
Proposition 4: Fire safety improvements: 11,618-2,506
Proposition 5: Municipal court improvements: 9,526-4,518
Proposition 6: Municipal service facility improvements: 9,563-4,459
Proposition 7: Animal care and control: 10,975-3,141