By Ashley Moss
A prominent pastor and former leader in the Baptist General Convention of Texas could become the first African American mayor of a suburban Fort Worth city on December 8th.
The Rev. Michael Evans, a longtime pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, beat three other candidates in the November 3 election, which was a primary contest for that city’s voters. Evans earned 11,000 more votes than his closest competitor, Brent Newsom.
Under Texas law, candidates must gain at least 50 percent of the vote to win. Neither Evans nor Newsom gained 50 percent of the vote in the crowded field on November 3rd; therefore, the two, who gained the highest numbers of votes, will face each other in the December 8th runoff.
Evans and Newsom are running to replace David Cook who stepped down from the position last December to run for the Texas House of Representatives District 96 seat.
Evans has served in various civic roles, including on the Mansfield school board, for more than 30 years. He and his congregation built a 135,000 square-foot independent living complex for senior adults. If elected, he would focus on lowering property taxes, public safety and planning “smart growth” strategies, including affordable housing and master-planned developments.
Newsom holds the Place 2 seat on the Mansfield City Council. He gained the endorsement of Tarrant County Law Enforcement Association and pledged to continue funding police and firefighters.
The polls in Ellis, Johnson and Tarrant counties will be open on Tuesday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.