Lawyer, nonprofit leader to join Fort Worth, TX mayor’s race

A lawyer who left a Fort Worth city government post in 2019 to head an education nonprofit intends to join a swelling list of candidates in the mayor’s race.

Mattie Parker, a former chief of staff for the mayor and council, said that she was ready to emerge from background government roles and succeed Mayor Betsy Price in the city’s top elected office. Price announced last week that she would not seek a sixth term.

After considering the elements of a city at a turning point that she could improve, Parker, 37, said that she intends on Tuesday to file to run for mayor. Parker lives with her husband and children in the Ridglea North neighborhood.

Parker is CEO of Cradle to Career, part of the nonprofit Tarrant To and Through, which is focused on education and increasing the number of students who attend college and complete other post-high school training.

“I think I have, I know I have, a very unique skill set,” she said.

Parker directed for five years policy and strategy as the chief of staff for Price and the Fort Worth City Council. She was previously district director and campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, chief of staff for State Rep. Phil King and former Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick’s executive assistant.

Parker said that beyond education quality, her vision for the city includes steadying a novel coronavirus pandemic-altered economy.

Fort Worth must welcome entrepreneurs and businesses that will attract young employees, she said.

Parker also said that she would focus on public safety and efforts to be certain that the city is inclusive.

Parker, who was raised in Hico, in Central Texas, on her family’s ranch, is the sixth candidate to enter the race.

Councilmembers Brian Byrd and Ann Zadeh, Tarrant County Democratic Party Chairwoman Deborah Peoples and two political newcomers, Mike Haynes and Chris Rector, are also candidates in the May 1 election.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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Emerson Clarridge covers crime and other breaking news for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He works evenings and reports on law enforcement affairs in Tarrant County. He previously was a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald and the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York.

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