TCU hosts forum for Fort Worth mayor candidates

With early voting almost over, one of the races to watch is the Fort Worth mayoral election.

Incumbent Betsy Price is running for a record fifth term. She's facing the Tarrant County Democratic Party Chairwoman Deborah Peoples.

A mayoral forum was held at TCU on Monday. It was the first one attended by Price. The passionate debate happened just five days before voters decide who gets their vote for Fort Worth Mayor.

As of April 26, Price has $464,000 in cash on hand while Peoples has a fraction of that with $10,000. Both James McBride and write-in candidate Michael Haynes are at $0.

Monday’s forum tackled a range of issues. Transportation was at the top of the list.

“We’ve got all of these neighborhoods that are in the outer regions of Fort Worth. They need to be able to get into the city,” Peoples said.

McBride, with arguably the least name recognition, tried to connect with students over his love of government and his understanding of transit issues.

Sophomore Denisa Gyorfi is concerned about last election’s 6 percent voter turnout in Fort Worth.

“I didn’t realize our voting was so low,” she said. “But at the same time, it makes sense because I feel like no one talks about going to vote for local elections or anything.”

The candidates gave their solutions.

“I believe that the reason our voter turnout is so low is that it’s by design,” Peoples said. “We have leaders who don’t want people to come out and vote because they know a low voter turnout favors them.”

Price says it’s an issue she’s tried to address in office.

“I think part of the problem is that public schools haven’t been teaching civic engagement,” Price said.

Human trafficking, taxes and immigration were all up for discussion, along with their thoughts on hiring a new police chief.

“I believe they’ve got to be out and be engaged and willing to work,” Price said.

“But he doesn’t need his hands tied by leadership that wants him to act a certain way,” Peoples said.