Democrats and “defund the police” leftists are lining up behind anti-election integrity candidate Deborah Peoples in the runoff election for Fort Worth mayor. Peoples has made her campaign about “turning Texas blue,” while establishment-backed Mattie Parker has positioned herself against injecting national politics into the local race, supporting public safety and election integrity.

“Turning Fort Worth blue is the key to turning Texas blue,” is the phrase Peoples has used in her campaign emails since April. She resigned as chair of the Tarrant County Democrat Party on May 10, but Peoples has made it clear her race is driven by national Democrats’ long-running desire to take Texas, as they have New York and California.

After the May 1 election, in which voters chose Mattie Parker—a former chief of staff for retiring Mayor Betsy Price—to face off against Peoples in the June 5 runoff contest, Democrats have been lining up behind Peoples.

On May 4, Democrat State Reps. Ramon Romero (Fort Worth), Nicole Collier (Fort Worth), and Chris Turner (Grand Prairie) endorsed Peoples. Congressman Marc Veasey backed her the day before, and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke endorsed on May 6. “Deborah’s 30 years of executive experience and lifelong commitment to Fort Worth will make her an excellent mayor,” O’Rourke said.

It’s not just Democrats joining the fray either, but also radical leftists. United Fort Worth is backing Peoples as well as city council candidates Dr. Jared Williams and Chris Nettles in the June 5 runoff election to “have the progressive change on council” they want.

For years, UFW has pushed far-left ideologies in the city. They failed in 2017 to have the city council join the lawsuit against Senate Bill 4, which banned sanctuary cities in Texas. They have repeatedly opposed Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn’s (R) cooperation with the federal government in identifying and turning over illegal immigrants in the county jail.

During Peoples’ 2019 run for mayor, when Bernie Sanders endorsed her, she publicly admitted her affiliation with UFW. “I know those young people. I’ve been to many of the meetings of those young people,” she told Texas Scorecard. UFW and Peoples are both supportive of the movement to defund the police, whereas Parker has said she opposes the movement.

Peoples has also expressed her opposition to the Texas Legislature working to secure election integrity this session. Parker originally sided with corporations also voicing opposition, then later announced her support for voter ID and how the Legislature was addressing election integrity, adding she had been too focused on the mayoral campaign “to really pay attention.”

“I cannot believe that a Far-Left candidate is backed by the Defund the Police Group (United Fort Worth), and Failed Millionaire candidate [Beto O’Rourke],” posted Carlos Turcios. “Her Progressive ideas are not welcomed in Fort Worth!”

Mattie Parker, on the other hand, is backed by attorney Dee Kelly Jr.’s faction of the local establishment, which includes the powerful Bass brothers. State Rep. Craig Goldman (R–Fort Worth) and Mayor Price are included in her long list of well-to-do endorsements.

Texas Scorecard asked Parker for her response to this election being framed as a way to strengthen the re-election chances of national Democrats and the Biden-Harris administration.

“Fort Worth citizens are tired of divisive Washington, D.C. partisan politics because they don’t do anything to solve the problems facing our neighborhoods,” she replied. “My campaign reflects my commitment to the people of Fort Worth that I will only have one focus as mayor: what is the best thing for the neighborhoods of Fort Worth.”

Parker was also asked if the extreme policies of Democrats are in line with Fort Worth voters.

“Citizens from every neighborhood in Fort Worth want the same things for their families that I want for mine: safe streets, quality schools, better roads and sidewalks, and high-paying jobs,” she stated. “This campaign is not about Washington, D.C. This campaign is about the future of Fort Worth and what that future will look like for our children. I want a Fort Worth that is focused on supporting entrepreneurs to create high-paying jobs, promoting a safe and smart recovery from COVID, improving our roads, making sure our police and fire departments are well funded, and protecting taxpayers with a more efficient city hall. This is exactly what our residents and their children deserve—not extreme, partisan politics.”

Citizens will decide in the June 5 runoff.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.