Ann Zadeh wins race for Fort Worth City Council

Posted Saturday, Jun. 21, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Ann Zadeh, a former city planner, defeated Ed Lasater in the runoff election for the District 9 seat on the Fort Worth City Council on Saturday night.

Zadeh won with 53.86 percent of the votes compared to Lasater’s 46.14 percent, according to unofficial results from the Tarrant County Elections Office.

Lasater won the early voting with 51.89 percent of the vote, but Zadeh came roaring back by grabbing 57.72 percent of the vote on Election Day.

“I’m really excited. I worked really, really hard, and I’m happy we had a campaign that stayed on the high road,” Zadeh said. “I feel just excited and pleased with all the support that I got, and I appreciate everyone who came out and supported me.”

Zadeh, 47, is a resident of Bluebonnet Hills and a former mayoral appointee and chairwoman of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission. Zadeh says her educational background and work experience in city planning will be beneficial as a councilwoman.

She said her first priority is to “go back through this thick notebook I have been compiling from neighborhoods to make sure nothing falls through the cracks.”

She will also meet with other council members to make sure she is “up to speed” on the issues.

Lasater, 44, is a resident of Berkeley Place who is in a family consulting business and also worked as an attorney in municipal law and also for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office under Tim Curry. He says his experience in law and in business have made him aware of issues facing the city.

“I couldn’t be more appreciative of the people I worked with and I am very sad for them, but I believe in democracy,” Lasater said. “I believe in when you take a vote, and when someone is elected you respect it and move on. Ann ran a great campaign and she is a going to be a great councilperson.”

The votes from Saturday’s election are scheduled to be canvassed June 30, and Zadeh will be sworn into office on July 15.

Zadeh will come into the office just weeks before the City Council starts work on the fiscal year 2015 budget. Last year, the city initially faced a $50 million shortfall in the budget. The first budget presentation is expected to go to the council Aug. 12.

Joel Burns, who has represented the area since 2008, announced his resignation in February, saying he plans to obtain a Mid-Career Master in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School in Massachusetts. Burns agreed to stay until a replacement is elected.

The seat he is vacating represents one of the most economically and culturally diverse areas of Fort Worth. It includes several key urban centers, including the medical district, TCU and downtown.

It stretches from Interstate 20 in the south to Northeast 28th Street, encompassing several historic neighborhoods. It had nearly 90,000 residents as of November.

The area is 65 percent white, 6 percent black, 2 percent Asian and 26 percent “other.” It is also 58 percent Hispanic, but Hispanic is not considered a race by the U.S. Census.

Other Tarrant races

Duff O’Dell defeated LuAnn Chapman Gatts in the Place 6 runoff on the Grapevine City Council, with O’Dell taking 59.12 percent of the votes and Gatts at 40.88 percent in unofficial results but complete results.

O’Dell and her family have lived in Grapevine for more than 30 years. O’Dell has co-owned a business in Grapevine and served on multiple city and civic boards.

Trae Fowler won against Brent Weast in the runoff for City Council Place 4 in Haltom City. Fowler had 54.22 percent and Weast had 45.78 percent of the votes in unofficial results but complete results. Fowler is a former Haltom City mayor and City Council member.

Bruce Scott defeated John Claridge in the runoff for Place 3 on the River Oaks City Council, with Scott taking in 50.66 percent of votes and Claridge with 49.34 percent in unofficial but complete results. Scott is a Fort Worth firefighter

This report includes information from Star-Telegram archives.

Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984 Twitter: @catyhirst

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