Local runoffs will shape area city councils

Posted Friday, Jun. 20, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

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While it may seem like just another weekend chore, voting in one of the runoff elections throughout Tarrant County on Saturday will be worth your time.

During the early voting period, which ended June 17, turnout was predictably low. According to Star-Telegram reporter Caty Hirst, fewer than 1,600 votes were cast by area voters at the end of the first week of early voting.

But with city council runoff elections in several cities, including Fort Worth, Grapevine, Haltom City and River Oaks, much about the direction of Tarrant County municipalities will be decided at the polls this weekend.

In Fort Worth, the race to watch is the City Council seat representing District 9, recently vacated by Councilman Joel Burns.

The south side and downtown district is one of the most economically and culturally diverse in the city, with about 90,000 residents, almost 60 percent Hispanic.

Originally, six candidates entered the race. The May 21 special election winnowed the field to two, businessman Ed Lasater and former zoning commission chairwoman Ann Zadeh.

Zadeh, 47, received 31.29 percent of the vote in May.

Lasater, 44, came in second with 24.01 percent.

Both candidates are qualified, but Zadeh’s experience as a city and regional planner and service on the zoning commission gives her an edge in representing a part of the city that will face growth and development issues for some time to come.

In the May election, only 9 percent of registered voters cast ballots in the District 9 race.

Tarrant County voters have gone to the polls four times in as many months; it’s understandable that voter fatigue has set in.

But casting a ballot in the runoff elections is no less important today than in any election prior.

Polls in all locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Voters can check their polling place by calling 817-831-8683, or going online at www.tarrantcounty.com/elections.

And per state law, voters are reminded to bring the appropriate photo identification with them to their polling place.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends Ann Zadeh in the District 9 runoff for Fort Worth City Council.

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