“My name is Mattie Parker and I’m the new mayor of Fort Worth, Texas.”
With that, newly sworn-in Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker officially took the reins and addressed the crowd that gathered at the Fort Worth Convention Center on Tuesday night to see the start of a new era in city government.
Parker, 37, becomes the youngest mayor of a major city in the country. She joins five new council members to bring a new guard of younger leadership to the nation’s 12th largest city. As the new council members and new mayor take office, the average age of the council drops from 60 to 45.
The new members of the council are:
- District 6: Jared Williams.
- District 7: Leonard Firestone.
- District 8: Chris Nettles.
- District 9: Elizabeth M. Beck.
- District 3: Michael D. Crain.
Parker and four of the new members were elected in June 5 runoffs. Crain was elected outright on May 1 and sworn in May 11 along with returning council members Carlos Flores, Cary Moon and Gyna Bivens, all reelected May 1 without runoffs. At Tuesday night’s special meeting in the Convention Center ballroom, the city council voted to canvass the June 5 results, and outgoing Mayor Betsy Price presented certificates of election. Parker, Williams, Firestone, Nettles and Beck were sworn into office and gave remarks.
Parker is a former chief of staff to Price and the council, and is founder of an educational coalition.
Price left office as the longest-serving mayor of the booming city that is closing in on 1 million residents. She decided not to seek re-election after serving five two-year terms.
Much was made in the media during the mayoral campaign of the partisanship of the election. Parker’s opponent in the runoff was Deborah Peoples, a former Democratic county chairwoman. Parker, like Price a Republican, received support from several prominent Republicans, including Price and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
In her remarks, Parker eschewed a partisan approach to governing.
“The question is not whether we go right or left,” she said. “It’s how we move Fort Worth forward. The only thing I’m partisan about is getting things done for Fort Worth and our residents here in this community. My goal is unity. My purpose for the future and my approach is working together with each member of this city council.”