Lasater leads Zadeh, others in Fort Worth District 9 money race

By Scott Nishimura

More than $86,000 in political contributions have come into the campaign treasuries of five candidates running to fill Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns’ seat, and attorney Ed Lasater leads so far with 43 percent of the total.

In a filing with the city, Lasater reported $37,664 in contributions; former Zoning Commission Chair Ann Zadeh, $25,257; bicycle shop owner Bernie Scheffler, $13,757; TCU director Margot Garza, $7,865; and Lockheed Martin engineer Greg Hughes, $1,750.

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Another candidate, Juan Rangel III, had not filed his report as of Friday morning. The report – due 30 days before the May 10 election – was the first financial filing required of the candidates.

Lasater reported $8,595 in expenditures so far, and $29,577 in unspent political contributions on hand.

HIs donors included the Bass family’s Good Government Fund, a regular contributor to incumbents in the city, $4,000; the political action committee of the Kelly Hart law firm, which manages the Bass PAC, $1,000; Sid Bass, $1,000; H-E-B Central Market executive Stephen Butt, who lives in Fort Worth; family members, attorneys, and business people. Libby Manning and Jill Black, two co-founders of the PAC that recruited and campaigned for three Fort Worth school board members who won seats last year, contributed $500 and $250, respectively.

Other Lasater donors included former City Council members Jeff Wentworth and Bill Meadows, and Marty Leonard of the Tarrant Regional Water District board.

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Zadeh reported $15,832.45 in expenditures, $15,933.81 in unspent contributions, and $15,000 in personal money she loaned to her campaign.

Zadeh’s largest contributor was the Fort Worth attorney Francisco Hernandez, who gave $3,250. The Texas Democratic Party gave $450.

Zadeh’s donors also included family members, business people, and other members of the legal community. Zadeh’s husband, Jim, is an attorney.

Scheffler, who owns Trinity Bicycles downtown, reported $5,932.04 in expenditures and $4,674.96 in unspent contributions.

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Scheffler’s largest donors were physician Mark Koch and wife Diana Koch, neighbors of his in Fairmount, who each donated $2,000. Donors also included Rahr Brewery owner Fritz Rahr, $250; Adelaide Leavens, the retired director of the Streams & Valleys nonprofit in Fort Worth, $100; and numerous members of the Fort Worth bicycling community, who gave small amounts.

“And I’m very proud of that,” Scheffler said Friday of the cyclists’ contributions.

Garza reported $1,641 in expenditures and $6,223.63 in unspent contributions on hand. She also reported an $1,100 loan from her father.

Her largest contributor was Thomas Gaubert, a family friend.

“We’re running an old-school grassroots campaign,” Garza said Friday.

Hughes reported $2,770 in expenditures and $9,129 in unspent contributions. He also reported loaning his campaign $10,000. His donors included Cathy Hirt, who ran for mayor in 2011, $100.