FORT WORTH — Candidates in Fort Worth’s four contested City Council races raised $365,565 through the end of April, with public safety associations, stung by last year’s council vote to pare pension benefits, being the biggest contributors heading into Saturday’s election, according to campaign finance reports.The Fort Worth Police Officer Association’s Committee for Public Safety spread a total $57,500 across the campaigns of challengers Jim Lane, Gyna Bivens, and Kathleen Hicks.The Fort Worth Firefighters Committee for Responsible Government distributed a total $54,957 across the Lane and Hicks campaigns, and incumbent Frank Moss’ campaign. The firefighters are in contract talks with the city.The Fort Worth Retired Firefighters and Widows Committee contributed $5,000 to Lane and $1,000 to Hicks.In Fort Worth’s North Side District 2, Lane, who is trying to regain his old council seat and has longtime strong ties to police and fire employees, caught up to incumbent Sal Espino, who had a big fundraising advantage through March.Lane raised $77,711 in April for a campaign total $88,410, and reported $31,214 cash on hand. The bulk of April’s contributions came from the firefighters committee, $33,761; the police committee, $25,000, and retired firefighters, $5,000.Espino reported raising $31,210 in April for a campaign total $89,345, and had $20,873 cash on hand.In Fort Worth’s Southeast District 8, where Kathleen Hicks is seeking her old council seat from incumbent Kelly Allen Gray, Hicks reported raising $32,281 in April for a campaign total $43,131, and had $28,467 cash on hand.The bulk of April’s contributions came from the public safety employees: $12,500 from the police committee, $15,196 from the firefighters committee, and $1,000 from the retired firefighters.Gray reported raising $22,250 in April for a campaign total $35,858, and having $15,558 cash on hand.Gray also continued the heavy use of phone banks to court the mail-in and early in-person votes, which traditionally account for a big part of the district’s vote. She reported spending $3,605 in April on contract labor, which campaign treasurer Phyllis Allen – Gray’s sister – on Thursday said went to phone banks and canvassers.In the East/Northeast District 5, where Moss faces two challengers in Bivens and John Tunmire, Moss reported having raised a total $25,896, including $16,650 in April, and $11,313 cash on hand. Moss reported receiving $6,000 in April from the firefighters committee.Bivens, a nonprofit executive, reported raising $21,500 in April for a total $25,110. Almost all of April’s money came on a $20,000 contribution from the police association. Bivens reported no cash on hand.Tunmire, a real estate broker, reported having raised no money and having no cash on hand.In the East/far North District 4, incumbent Danny Scarth reported raising $23,595 in April for a campaign total $48,760, and having $104,647 cash on hand.Challenger Paul Gardner reported raising $3,730 in April for a campaign total $9,055, and having a cash deficit of $3,794.
Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808 Twitter:@jscottnishimura