An important runoff election is underway in Fort Worth City Council District 11 featuring a mainstream Democrat against a MAGA Republican. Early voting in the runoff begins May 30th and runoff election day is June 10th. Longtime public servant and lifelong Democrat Jeanette Martinez led in the first round election with 36 percent. MAGA Republican Rick Herring, who runs a personal loan business, finished a close second with 34 percent.
Fort Worth City Council District 11
City Council District 11 is newly created and brings together diverse neighborhoods including Worth Heights in south Fort Worth, parts of Meadowbrook and South Edgewood, Echo Heights in southeast Fort Worth, and most of Riverside and Oakhurst north and east of I-35. The district is heavily minority with a majority Hispanic voting age population, and a large Black population as well. Anglos make up barely 17 percent of the voting age population. As a result, the district’s politics are Democratic mainstream with Biden getting 74 percent support in 2020, and Beto O’Rourke getting nearly the same in 2022.
Fort Worth Council District 11 is tailored for a leader like Jeanette Martinez who can represent racially and economically diverse neighborhoods. Conversely, Rick Herring has repeatedly stood with hard right MAGA Republicans whose party incites its activists by attacking minority citizens and pitting neighbor against neighbor.
Longtime public servant Jeanette Martinez is a natural fit for the district. Martinez brings years of service to district neighborhoods as a top aide to highly respected County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks. Martinez is backed by key elected officials like Commissioner Brooks, State Representative Ramon Romero, and Councilman Carlos Flores. Community leaders like Opal Lee, Rosa Navejar, and former Senator Beverly Powell along with the Fort Worth Firefighters and the Star-Telegram have endorsed Jeanette Martinez as well.
City elections are not supposed to be partisan, but Rick Herring is another example of MAGA Republicans forcing the issue by fielding an extreme Republican partisan in a mainstream district comprised of diverse neighborhoods and fair-minded voters. While Herring may try to downplay his MAGA appeal, he has the backing of the extremist group the True Texas Project. Their support makes sense given that Herring earned his MAGA stripes by voting in all four Republican primaries and three Republican run-off elections since MAGA forces took over the Republican Party structure in Tarrant County. A candidate can’t credibly deny being MAGA if they voted with Donald Trump in 2016, with Ted Cruz in 2018, and then doubled down again with Trump in 2020.