June 20, 2014

Saturday is Election Day in 4 municipal runoff elections

The race for Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns’ seat is among the contested runoffs. Others are in Grapevine, Haltom City and River Oaks.

An election process that began nearly four months ago with the surprise resignation of Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns will be decided Saturday when voters cast ballots in the District 9 council race.

The Fort Worth council race is one of four runoff elections that are being held Saturday in Tarrant County. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ann Zadeh, 47, a resident of Bluebonnet Hills and a former mayoral appointee and chairwoman of the Fort Worth Zoning Commission, led in the six-way May 10 election with 31.29 percent of the vote. Ed Lasater, 44, a resident of Berkeley Place who is in a family consulting business, came in second with 24.01 percent of the votes.

In other Tarrant County runoff races, LuAnn Chapman Gatts is up against Duff O'Dell for Place 6 on the Grapevine City Council; Brent Weast and Trae Fowler are facing off for City Council Place 4 in Haltom City; and John Claridge and Bruce Scott are competing for Place 3 on the River Oaks City Council.

The Fort Worth council candidates say it is all about turning out the vote, with 860 voting in-person for the District 9 election through the end of early voting, compared to 936 people at the end of early voting in May.

“It is all about getting your supporters out at this point,” Lasater said. “There is no more convincing or persuading, it is all about turnout. The candidate who gets their supporters out is probably going to win.”

Zadeh said she has not “put a lot of thoughts in the numbers.”

“I’m just trying to get everyone I talk to to participate and get out and vote,” she said.

Zadeh led Lasater in campaign contributions heading into the last day of voting, according to reports filed with the city.

Zadeh had $42,460 in donations from May to mid-June, had spent $24,686 and had $15,000 in outstanding loans. She had $22,575 in cash on hand, as of June 13.

Lasater reported $12,160 in donations for the same period, and he spent $41,683, with $20,100 reported in outstanding loans. He had $24,512 in cash on-hand, also as of June 13.

Stephen Vickers, chief deputy elections administrator for Tarrant County, said turnout Saturday will be “very slim.”

“I wouldn’t expect election day to be any heavier than early voting,” Vickers said. “There is a lot of voter fatigue. …There is nothing on the ballot right now that is going to drive them out, and there are not a lot of voters who are affected.”

For all of Tarrant County, the runoff elections had seen 2,727 people vote in person, and the elections office had received 477 mail-in ballots as of Wednesday.

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