FORT WORTH, Texas—Mattie Parker declared victory on Saturday as the next mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, keeping it one of America’s biggest cities with a GOP mayor.
The 37-year-old Parker was in a runoff with Deborah Peoples, a former Democratic county chairwoman who was hoping to be the city’s first black mayor.
Parker has now become the youngest mayor of a major city. Peoples conceded defeat as Parker had more than 53 percent of the vote with ballots still being counted.
“Today’s election was a pivotal moment. The entire country was watching,” Parker told supporters gathered at west side bar Lola’s, Dallas News reported.
“Because of your support here tonight, together we will do extraordinary things for Fort Worth, Texas. Number one is bringing our city together. Hear me and hear me well: We’re going to demonstrate that a world-class city is capable of being a premier destination. We are one of the best cities in the nation to live, work, play, and raise a family.”
The local news report added that both candidates had focused on major issues facing the city’s residents over partisan politics: transportation, attracting big business and jobs, education, and how to promote unity in the community.
Parker will succeed her former boss, outgoing Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a Republican who is retiring after 10 years and was the longest-serving mayor of the booming city that is closing in on 1 million residents.
“Mattie undoubtedly has the heart for service and the head for policy that we need leading Fort Worth during this time of rapid growth and change,” the outgoing mayor said in a prepared statement. “The new voice and fresh perspective Mattie brings to the table will be invaluable on the Fort Worth City Council.”
Parker is an attorney, a former chief of staff to Price, and founder of the education coalition Fort Worth Cradle to Career and the student to workforce training provider Tarrant To & Through (T3) Partnership.
Parker is to be sworn in on June 15.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who had endorsed Parker, said in a prepared statement on Saturday: “Congratulations to Mattie Parker on her victory to be the next Fort Worth mayor. Mattie is a true leader who will fight to build a safer and more prosperous future for the people of Fort Worth.”
NTD contributed to this report.