Fort Worth’s two longest-serving City Council members are working to ward off challengers in Saturday’s election by amassing large war chests, with Councilman Danny Scarth heading into the final days with the most money left to spend — $115,224.
Scarth, running for a sixth term in District 4, raised $30,525 and spent $14,278 in April, according to campaign finance reports filed with the city Friday. Scarth had spent $12,672 in the first reporting period, from mid-January through March.
His challenger, Cary Moon, the president of the Heritage Homeowners Association and a developer, raised $33,361 in April, including a $20,461 in-kind donation from the Fort Worth Police Officers Association. Moon spent $9,347 and had $14,677 in the bank.
In the first campaign filings, Moon spent $15,508, and the police officers association political action committee gave $49,781 in in-kind donations.
In District 2, the other race attracting big money, Councilman Sal Espino is also seeking his sixth term and is facing retired Fort Worth firefighter Steve Thornton.
Espino raised $49,150 during the April reporting period, spent $68,427 and had $27,164 in his war chest. Thornton raised $35,735, spent $12,367 and had $24,600.
Espino had spent $19,966 in the previous reporting period, and Thornton $12,983.
Tuesday was the last day for early voting, and election day is Saturday.
Other contested Fort Worth races:
▪ Bob Willoughby vs. Councilwoman Gyna Bivens in District 5.
▪ Andy Gallagher vs. Councilman Dennis Shingleton in District 7.
▪ Sharon Mason-Ford vs. Councilwoman Kelly Allen Gray in District 8.
Much of Espino’s money came from large PACs and community leaders, including $10,000 from Dallas businessman Jorge L. Baldor; $5,000 from the Fort Worth Police Officers Association Committee for Public Safety; $5,000 from Walsh Holdings Llc., the development company behind the master-planned Walsh Ranch community; $2,500 from state Rep. Ramon Romero’s campaign; and $1,000 from the BNSF Rail PAC.
The biggest chunk of Thornton’s money came from the Fort Worth Firefighters Committee for Responsible Government, which contributed $20,000 and gave $11,059 in in-kind donations. Thornton also received many small donations from community members, with several as low as $5.
District 2 stretches from downtown to the Stockyards and includes communities north of Loop 820 along the Marine Creek corridor and Blue Mound Road to U.S. 287.
Scarth’s donations included $500 from the Mayor Betsy Price Campaign; $2,500 from PSEL, a Bass family political action committee; $1,000 from former Tandy Corp. CEO and Chairman John Roach; and $300 from the Bell Helicopter Textron PAC.
Moon’s donors included the Fort Worth Fire Fighters Association, which gave $10,000; the Fort Worth Retired Fire Fighters and Widows, which gave $2,000; and Becky Haskin, the former District 4 councilwoman, who gave $100.
District 4 includes much of east and northeast Fort Worth from Interstate 30 and Sandy Lane to Golden Triangle Boulevard and Interstate 35W.
Bivens, running for a second term, raised $7,110 in April, spent $3,042 and had $9,851 in the bank. She had spent $14,553 in the previous period.
Her donors included the Mayor Betsy Price Campaign, the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors and Fort Worth real estate investor Timothy Fleet.
Willoughby, who works in merchandising at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, did not file a campaign finance report with the city. He had previously submitted a statement saying he would not raise more than $500, so he does not need to file.
District 5 stretches from the southeast side, including the Fort Worth side of Lake Arlington, up to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and the CentrePort business park.
Shingleton, running for a third term, raised $40,285 from April 9 to Friday, spent $26,394 and had $80,566 in the bank. He had spent $15,665 in the previous reporting period.
His contributors in April included the Bell Helicopter Textron PAC; Tarrant Regional Water Board incumbent Marty Leonard; former Mayors Mike Moncrief and Kenneth Barr; the Fort Worth Realtors PAC; the Greater Fort Worth Real Estate Council PAC; and Fort Worth school board incumbent Judy Needham.
Gallagher, an auto dealer and mortgage loan officer, according to his campaign application, has raised no money, has received no loans and has spent no money.
He has declined repeated requests for interviews from the Star-Telegram.
District 7 is the largest council district, stretching from the Cultural District west to Lake Worth and then to the far north, taking in Texas Motor Speedway.
Gray, also seeking a third term, reported $8,950 in donations in April, compared with $2,225 for Mason-Ford.
Gray spent $6,948 and had $15,687 in the bank. She had spent $12,378 in the previous reporting period.
Gray’s donors included the Mayor Betsy Price Campaign; the Bell Helicopter Textron PAC; the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors PAC; and the Greater Fort Worth Real Estate PAC.
Mason-Ford, a teacher for special-needs adults, spent $2,225 and had nothing in the bank. She had spent $5,150 in the last reporting period.
Her backers included former state District Judge Maryellen Hicks, the mother of former Councilwoman Kathleen Hicks, who lost the race for District 8 to Gray in 2013; and Seeking God Holiness Church.
Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984