Local elections, vote on red-light cameras ahead

Red-light cameras and the Arlington mayor’s race headline local elections.
Red-light cameras and the Arlington mayor’s race headline local elections. Star-Telegram

The May 9 elections are our least followed, and maybe our most important.

Fort Worth, Arlington and surrounding cities will choose leaders for the next two years. Deeper on the ballot are elections for school board, community college board and water district board.

The most high-profile races are in Arlington, where Mayor Robert Cluck will face three challengers. All four council incumbents and three Arlington school trustees also have opponents.

Arlington voters also will decide whether to keep or do away with red-light cameras, a proposition that will affect the election turnout and maybe the outcome in some races.

All three Fort Worth City Council members in the city’s fast-growing northern part will face opponents.

Nine-year council member Danny Scarth, an east side resident and owner of a video production business, faces opposition from developer and investor Cary Moon, a homeowners association president in far north Fort Worth.

Incumbents Sal Espino and Dennis Shingleton both face opponents from central-city neighborhoods — Steve Thornton and Andy Gallagher, respectively — but both seats will largely be decided by voters north of the loop.

In southeast Fort Worth, two of the newest council members both drew challengers. Incumbent Gyna Bivens will face Bob Willoughby, and Kelly Allen Gray faces Sharon Mason-Ford.

Three incumbents on the fractious Fort Worth school board also face challengers in districts representing east, southwest and west Fort Worth.

Also, voters in central and north Fort Worth and Saginaw will choose either Terri Ayala of Fort Worth or Josh Barber of Saginaw to succeed Robyn Medina Winnett as Tarrant County College trustee.

Suburban Tarrant County’s headline campaign is in Southlake, where voters will choose either Laura Hill or Carolyn Morris to succeed Mayor John Terrell, who served out his term limit.

However, the largest advertising blitz of the spring involves none of the above campaigns.

Tarrant Regional Water District directors Jim Lane and Marty Leonard, both of Fort Worth, will face three opponents, two of them running together. The election is on the ballot in most but not all of Fort Worth, plus Azle, Edgecliff, Westworth Village, Westover Hills and part of River Oaks.

Craig Bickley of Haslet, a personnel manager, and Michele Von Luckner of Fort Worth, a neighborhood volunteer, question directors’ spending on the multi-agency Trinity River project downtown. The other challenger, Keith K. Annis of Fort Worth, expresses concern about water needs.

There will be plenty to follow in these races for those who are interested.

Here’s hoping more voters are interested this time around.