Political newcomers and veteran Fort Worth school board trustee Tobi Jackson won easily Saturday night.
Jackson won the District 2 seat with 63.4% of the vote, according to the Tarrant County Elections Office. Former Eastern Hills High School principal Chad McCarty received 36.5% of the vote.
Jackson said the results were a validation of her work on the board, but she was disappointed the race turned negative in the end, which she said was the “product of outside influences and a disgruntled few with financial interests.”
“We won, the voters won, and all of East Side Fort Worth won,” she said in a text message. “We need to find a way to bring our new FWISD board together. In that task, I will do my part.”
McCarty is a former TCU football player who built a career in education that included principal at Eastern Hills High School.
“They made their choice,” McCarty said, adding that he plans to stay involved with education issues and with helping lift young people.
“It’s always about the kids,” he said. “Hopefully, she does a great job for the next four years.”
Political newcomers Quinton “Q” Phillips, Anne Darr and Carin “CJ” Evans also took early leads.
This election ushered a new generation of school board leaders as three long-serving incumbents did not seek re-election: Judy Needham, Christene Moss and Ann Sutherland. Needham and Moss have served on the board since the 1990s — Moss was first elected in 1990 and Needham in 1996. Sutherland was first elected in 2010.
Phillips, who remained in the lead throughout the night, said he wants to serve as a unifying force on the board. He said he the first order of business is to learn the duties and responsibilities of trustees.
“If we stay vision-focused, I think we can make phenomenal strides for the young people in the Fort Worth,” said Phillips, a Dunbar High School graduate, who was endorsed by Moss. He called her “a 29-year-giant” voice on the school board.
“I can never fill those shoes,” Phillips said, adding that he hopes to continue her legacy.
Trustees serve four-year unpaid terms.
Phillips won the seat for District 3 against barber Cleveland Harris with 69.5% with 16 of 16 precincts reporting. Harris received 30.4%. Phillips is an adjunct professor at TCU. Harris is the founder of the Friends of Cobb Park. District 3 includes the Historic Stop Six neighborhood in southeast Fort Worth. Dunbar High School and the Young Men’s Leadership Academy are in District 3.
Evans, an attorney, won the post with 57.1% of the votes with 16 of 16 precincts reporting. Carla Morton, a pediatric and developmental neuropsychologist, garnered 42.8% of early votes. The candidates are vying for a post held by Needham, who had served on the board since 1996.
District 5 includes Arlington Heights High School, Stripling Middle School, Tanglewood and Western Hills elementary schools. Reading, student academic success and special education were among issues the candidates discussed during their campaigns.
In the three-way contest race for District 6, Darr, an educator consultant who has taught deaf students in Aledo and Birdville schools, won the majority of votes with 15 out of 15 precincts reported. Darr had 61.6% of the vote. Lisa Saucedo, an analyst with Texas Health Resources who as served as president of the Council of PTAs, received 25.1 % of votes reported. Sandra Shelton, a consultant and educator who has taught English, journalism, speech and theater, received 13.2% of votes.
There will not be runoff election in this race because Darr received more than 50 percent of the total votes.