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Fort Worth Councilwoman Bivens announces re-election bid

The political season has started in Fort Worth with District 5 Councilwoman Gyna Bivens the first out of the chute.

This past week, before dozens of constituents and city leaders, Bivens threw her hat into the ring for a third two-year term, telling those attending her first fund-raiser she has work to complete. Bivens said she’d thought she’d only serve for two terms. She was first elected in 2013.

Economic development and attracting more housing to her district are priorities, she said.

“I want you to know I’ll be running for re-election,” Bivens said. “I want to keep going in the direction we’ve been going.”

Mayor Betsy Price, and District 6 Councilman Jungus Jordan and District 7 Councilman Dennis Shingleton attended, as did David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development with the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce. Dee Jennings, president and CEO of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, served as an emcee of sorts for the evening event, held at the Fort Worth Club.

Price thanked Bivens for her years of service, telling her constituents she’s “done incredible work. She is always working on your behalf. We’re looking forward to having you another couple of years with us. You look fabulous and you’re doing fabulous work.”

Expect other council members to make announcements in the coming weeks. Shingleton said his fund-raiser is Aug. 4 at The Original Mexican Eats Cafe, 4713 Camp Bowie Blvd.

Wounded Warrior

Last year, Fort Worth’s Andrew Bachelder won the George W. Bush Warrior Open golf tournament.

Now the former Marine Corps staff sergeant, injured in a deadly midair helicopter collision in Afghanistan in 2009, is heading to California.

For another golf tournament.

Bachelder and his family will head to Lake Tahoe for the July 19-24 American Century Golf Championship nationally televised golf tournament.

“The American Century Championship invitation is awesome,” he said. “I can’t wait to get to Lake Tahoe.”

New media Bob

Bob Schieffer hasn’t exactly hung up his pork pie newsman’s hat. He’s just trying something new, a year after retiring from CBS.

He has launched a new podcast series called Bob Schieffer’s “About the News.” Along with Center for Strategic and International Studies senior vice president Andrew Schwartz, Schieffer posts new episodes Tuesdays on iTunes and on CSIS.org.

The first interviews were with MSNBS’s Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough and Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron.

Royal connections

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, has gotten to know quite a few world leaders as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs.

She’s been on a first name basis with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for some time.

But it turns out she also is a big fan of King Abdullah II of neighboring Jordan. “King of Jordan Abdullah is one of the greatest leaders I have ever known,” Granger told the Star-Telegram. “He’s been an amazing leader and a great ally.”

Local honor

State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, recently received the Mary Elizabeth Holdsworth Butt Award for Mental Health by Mental Health America of Texas.

Nelson, whose district includes part of Tarrant County, was honored for work that included helping boost mental health funding by more than $500 million in recent years and helping with counseling programs for veterans.

“She has a long history of bringing about positive change for Texans including increasing funding for much needed mental health treatment and services,” said Lynn Lasky Clark, president and CEO of MHA Texas.

UNT star in line to head National Guard

Lt. General Joseph Lengyel, who attended the University of North Texas and is an experienced F-16 pilot, was recently confirmed by the Senate to be the chief of the National Guard Bureau.

According to his biography on the U.S. Air Force website, the Texan is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours primarily in the F-16. He was commissioned in 1981 through the Reserve Officer Training Corps program at UNT.

Currently the vice-chair of the bureau, the federal agency that administers the National Guard, Lengyel recently got a warm introduction at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

“General Lengyel is the right man for this critical position, and the depth and breadth of his experience make him exceptionally well-qualified,” said Cornyn. “His 34 years of distinguished military service include an array of operational, staff, and command assignments, as well as service in Operations Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Southern Watch, and Enduring Freedom.”

Staff writer Sandra Baker contributed to this report.

Upcoming political events

July 18-21: 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland

July 25-28: 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

Oct. 11: Last day to register to vote

Oct. 24-Nov. 4: Early voting

Nov. 8: General Election

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

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