FORT WORTH — A former opponent endorsed City Council candidate Ann Zadeh in the District 9 runoff election against Ed Lasater.Bernie Scheffler, one of the original six candidates, initially said he was not going to endorse anyone in the race but said Wednesday that he is backing Zadeh in the June 21 election. Early voting in that race begins Monday.Zadeh, 47, received 31.29 percent of the vote in May. Lasater, 44, came in second with 24.01 percent.“I’ve always considered myself a team player and after meeting with both of the runoff candidates, I truly felt she shared my ideals and hopes for the city, so she was the best qualified candidate left,” Scheffler said. Though Lasater has not been endorsed by a former candidate, he has received financial backing from key community leaders, such as Sid Bass and Marty Leonard. On his website his endorsements include U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth.“We are focused on knocking on doors and talking to people and it is going well. We are focused on getting the vote out because we think the turnout will be very low and every vote is going to count,” Lasater said. Scheffler, along with former candidates Greg Hughes and Margot Garza, had said they didn’t plan to make an endorsement. “When I reflected, staying out of it because didn’t make the runoff just seems kind of selfish. There are people who supported me and I owe them my opinion on who I think the best candidate is,” Scheffler said. Scheffler had 8.65 percent of the vote in the May 10 election. He came in fifth. Zadeh could not be reached for comment but said in a news release that she is “thrilled to have Bernie’s support.” “He has been a tireless advocate for his neighborhoods and for important issues like transportation that will be critical for our city’s future,” Zadeh said. Hughes is still not endorsing either candidate. “I think the voters of District 9 can figure out what to do without me saying anything,” Hughes said.Garza was not reached for comment. Juan Rangel III, the sixth candidate, has not returned calls from the Star-Telegram throughout his campaign.
Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984 Twitter: @catyhirst