Local NewsTaxes & SpendingFort Worth Mayoral Race Draws Five Candidates for May Election

Mayor Mattie Parker faces four challengers in her bid for re-election as mayor of Fort Worth.
February 21, 2023
Fort Worth, Texas’ fifth-largest city with a population of about 900,000, will elect its mayor on May 6 from a slate of five candidates this go-round.

Mayor Mattie Parker plans to run for re-election after serving her first term that began in May 2021.

“I am running for re-election to continue my promise to help every neighborhood in every part of our city thrive and prosper,” Parker said in a press statement.

Parker claimed accomplishments such as leading redistricting, restructuring city council committees, passing a $560 million capital bond package, and cutting spending while helping reduce property tax rates.

“I will continue to be a champion for Fort Worth families by improving City infrastructure, reducing violent crime, attracting high-quality jobs, and creating the highest quality of life in every zip code,” Parker added.

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Parker has four challengers: Alyson Kennedy, Jennifer Castillo, Adrian Smith, and Kenneth Bowens Jr.

Kennedy, a factory worker and the ​​Socialist Workers Party candidate, told The Texan that she is running to “help with issues that impact the lives of working people such as how the economic, social and moral crisis of the capitalist system undermine the ability of young people, especially working-class youth, to begin families and provide for them.”

She was the Socialist Workers Party candidate for president in 2016 and 2020 and ran for mayor of Dallas under the same banner in 2019.

Kennedy believes the top issues facing the city include the unionization of workers and a capitalistic foreign policy that includes an “economic war on Cuba.”

As a veteran and businessman, Smith believes he brings leadership, discipline, understanding, transparency, and accountability to his candidacy for mayor of Fort Worth.

He is running to address disparities within the city and “ensure all are included within the continual betterment of Fort Worth.”

Among the top issues Smith wishes to address is the strain between the city council and the city’s residents and the lack of economic development in certain areas of the city. If elected, Smith would address the ability of the public to address the council, which he believes has been limited. He would also plan to get assurances by “new business development as well as affordability for new housing initiatives.”

Smith ran for the District 3 city council seat in 2021.

Castillo is a realtor and veteran who says she is running to “creat[e] a brighter future for our children and leav[e] a legacy of hope and opportunity.”

Chief among the issues she hopes to address if elected is the “high property tax rate” and accompanying burden borne by many Fort Worth property owners.

Related is the issue of housing affordability, which Castillo believes is a key concern among the younger Fort Worth population. “We believe that access to affordable and safe housing is a fundamental right and key to promoting economic mobility and independence,” her website states.

Bowens describes himself on his Facebook page as one who brings “a different type of political experience” to the race for mayor. He is a 31-year native of Fort Worth who has been speaking at city council meetings and attending city council work sessions since 2005.

“This has been a 17-year decision in the making,” Bowens stated in a press release about his campaign launch.

Bowens is a business owner and managing partner of the Cowtown Enterprise Group.

He believes Fort Worth needs to address public safety and homelessness with “real transparency and effective solutions.”

Castillo did not reply to The Texan’s inquiry before the time of publication.

Early voting starts April 24 and runs through May 2 with Election Day on May 6.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to add comments provided by Kenneth Bowens Jr.


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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.

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