Republican Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker distanced herself from the party in a discussion Wednesday with the Texas Tribune.
Speaking of the number of uninsured people in Fort Worth, Parker said she supported the expansion of Medicaid. She added she understood it was a “difficult policy area” and that it might be “unpopular with some people of the party of which I used to identify with.”
“I could not run in a Republican primary because I just couldn’t look myself in the mirror and do it.” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker criticizes her party’s infighting, pushes for Medicaid expansion and defends Texas’ trans kids. https://t.co/cDVnN3bA5M
— Texas Tribune (@TexasTribune) March 24, 2022
Toward the end of the discussion, Tribune CEO Evan Smith asked Parker if she no longer considered herself a Republican. She acknowledged that she still self-identified as a Republican, but she was “confused” by the party.
“We just eat our own,” Parker said, before saying she couldn’t run in a Republican primary right now, and that she was OK with that. “Because I just couldn’t look myself in the mirror and do it, because it’s gotten so partisan.”
The comments come after Betsy Price, former Fort Worth Mayor and Parker’s predecessor, lost the Republican primary for Tarrant County Judge to Southlake attorney Tim O’Hare, who ran a grassroots campaign that hit on hot-button conservative issues and attacks on Price, drawing most of his support from the county’s suburbs.
This map shows the precincts won by Tim O’Hare (red) and Betsy Price (yellow) in the Tarrant County Republican primary for county judge. Tap on each precinct to see the vote totals for the candidates. Source: Tarrant County.
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Parker, who was one of a handful of prominent local Republicans who endorsed Price in the race, gave an example of pictures of Price meeting former President Barack Obama on a Dallas tarmac on a campaign mailer. Parker said Price was called to meet the president after former Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings couldn’t make it.
“Tell the whole story,” Parker said. “Don’t take snapshots of someone’s tenure and public service. I can’t tell you how disappointing that is. And it happens all the time to people on both sides of the aisle way too much.”
Parker said she was lucky at the city level to not have to deal with that because they could be better. The statement drew applause from the audience.
In the discussion, Parker also tackled issues such as the city’s crime rate, policing, education and public concern with newly passed election laws.
Parker wasn’t immediately available for comment early Thursday.
This story was originally published March 24, 2022 11:51 AM.
Abby Church covers Tarrant County government for the Star-Telegram. She has a degree in journalism and creative writing from James Madison University, where she was editor of its award-winning student newspaper, The Breeze. Abby comes to Texas after telling stories across Virginia and in North Carolina. Send news tips via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone or text at 817-390-7131 or on Twitter @abbschurch.