Ten candidates are running to replace Mayor Betsy Price.
- Well, as we mentioned, it is election day in Texas. And a lot of eyes are on Fort Worth. For the first time in a decade, voters are actually choosing a new mayor. And they've got 10 different candidates to choose from. Jason Allen is live in Fort Worth tonight. So Jason, that big race is one of the decisions driving far more voters to the polls than last spring election two years ago.
JASON ALLEN: Yeah, it really is. There were almost as many early voters for this election across the county as there were total voters in that same election in 2019. With about an hour to go, voter turnout is running more than 50% ahead of that election a couple of years ago. And part of it is this race for the mayor's seat, which has turned out a number of candidates. And it's open here, as you mentioned, for the first time in a decade.
It is a very big field. There are 10 names on the ballot. And some of them were out at voting centers today. They're trying to push their way to the top of that field. This was Deborah Peoples, who was at a center on the east side today. She has run and lost in this race before. But she told me today she was feeling confident as the votes come in.
Peoples, who has worked as a county Democratic party chair is considered one of the potential front runners tonight in the race. So is Mattie Parker, who worked very closely with outgoing Mayor Betsy Price as her chief of staff for several years. And she has earned broad endorsements from business and political leaders during this campaign.
A couple of current city council members-- they could also be in the running tonight as the votes are counted. Brian Byrd and Ann Zadeh both have years of experience in city hall. And Byrd has raised and also spent a significant amount of money on this campaign. He's running second just behind Mattie Parker. Steve Penate, who is a real estate broker and pastor, is another newcomer to the political scene here. But he has run maybe the most public campaign of any of the remaining candidates who are on the ballot tonight.
With that many candidates, a runoff is certainly possible in this election. But we'll get our first clue as to how that is playing out when the polls close here in just about an hour. Live tonight in Fort Worth, Jason Allen, CBS 11 News.