Northeast Tarrant

Keller mayor who survived 2016 recall effort won’t seek re-election

Keller Mayor Mark Mathews talks to the team while celebrating the 2016 State Softball Championship at Keller High School this past August. Mathews announced over the weekend that he won’t seek re-election in May.
Keller Mayor Mark Mathews talks to the team while celebrating the 2016 State Softball Championship at Keller High School this past August. Mathews announced over the weekend that he won’t seek re-election in May. Special to the Star-Telegram

The North Texas mayor who fought a recall election and survived last May won’t seek re-election in May.

Keller Mayor Mark Mathews announced over the weekend that he will not file for re-election when his first and only 3-year term expires in May.

In a news release, Mathews said he was proud of the work done in Keller during his term, but he told the Star-Telegram that not seeking re-election is “the right thing to do and the time is right.”

“You have to let go of some things to make room for new things, that’s what I am doing,” Mathews said.

Mathews said the “outstanding support we had during the recall and since is one of the reasons I strongly considered running again,” but ultimately a lot of factors and conversations with family and friends led him to his decision.

One year ago, Mathews raised more than $20,000 to fight against a recall election after a group of Keller residents accused him of unethical behavior.

In contrast, Mathews and incumbent Pat McGrail each raised around $6,000 in their 2014 campaign for mayor, according to campaign finance reports provided by the city of Keller. The recall group, dubbed the Citizens for Municipal Integrity, raised $2,500 in their effort.

“I took the attack on me, my family and the office of mayor seriously, “ Mathews said after the election.

Mathews was accused of misconduct and malfeasance for not recusing himself from City Council discussions and votes that involved companies where his wife and his wife’s ex-brother-in-law worked, as well as being involved in a city agreement with a developer to pay money to his neighborhood’s HOA instead of a city fine.

Mathews defended himself against the claims, saying it was just a political campaign by a small political faction in Keller that didn’t like the way he was voting on city council matters.

Mathews defeated the recall with almost 54 percent of approximately 4,000 votes, according to the Tarrant County election results.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST

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