Fort Worth taxpayers have reason to be wary of city council candidates who may raise their property taxes even higher.

Michael Matos, candidate for Fort Worth City Council District 7, is forming a coalition of leftists as his path to victory.

In the nonpartisan race for city council, Matos’s campaign initially appeared to be a mixed bag: On one hand, he suggested a transparent audit of the taxpayer-funded real estate boondoggle known as Panther Island, while on the other he supported raising school taxes.

However, Matos has recently forged alliances with political organizations that remove any question of his political leanings.

On February 24, Matos was endorsed by El Voto Es Latino, a DFW-based nonprofit organization that also conducted phone calls for the campaign of socialist U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The organization was founded to address “a disconnect between eligible Latino voters and progressive candidates” and has committed to block walking for Matos.

The organization’s co-founder, Tristeza Ordex-Ramirez, who is the district director for State Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Mesquite), is also associated with United Fort Worth—the leftist activist group that unsuccessfully tried to pressure Fort Worth to join the lawsuit against Texas’ ban on sanctuary cities and has since targeted the Fort Worth City Council.

On his campaign’s Facebook page, Matos wrote that he was “proud to earn” their endorsement. He called El Voto Es Latino “a local advocacy organization working to increase civic engagement in our Latino communities.”

On the same day that the organization announced their endorsement of Matos they also endorsed Deborah Peoples, chair of the Tarrant County Democratic Party, for mayor of Fort Worth.

The socialist-supporting organization isn’t the only one Matos has associated with. He recently co-hosted a joint block walking event with Peoples’ campaign and Tarrant Together, an organization whose mission “is to identify, register, and activate Democratic voters in Tarrant County with the ultimate goal of electing Democrats in State and Federal races in Tarrant County.”

This should be a cause of concern for Fort Worth taxpayers who have seen, on average, a 36.3 percent hike in the city portion of their property tax bills over the past five years.

Texas Scorecard has reached out to Matos asking him for his views on the property tax reform bills House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2; he has since expressed that he is “not opposed to HB 2.”

Matos will be facing off against incumbent District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton.

Early voting for the May 4 election begins April 22.

Information in this article has been updated since it was originally published.

Robert Montoya

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


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