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Close Contest In Fort Worth City Council District 5 Race

Frank Moss/Gyna Bivens

A long serving Fort Worth city council member is trying to hold on to his seat in this weekend’s run-off election.

Saturday’s vote will determine whether incumbent Frank Moss or first-time candidate Gyna Bivens wins east Fort Worth’s District 5.

Moss and  Bivens both have strong ties to the City of Fort Worth.

Moss, 68, has filled the District 5 council seat twice, most recently since 2007. Bivens, 58, is a political newcomer and former radio reporter who has served on boards and commissions within the city.

With a predicted budget shortfall looming for the coming year, both Moss and Bivens agree that balancing the budget is a top priority. But neither candidate is willing to say where the cuts should come from.

“I think they all fall into a general category that I think we need to look at and prioritize at that point, because you just can’t throw out anything on the table and say we’re going to cut that,” says Moss.

“I think you need to take a look at what’s essential, what’s not essential, what’s good to have, what’s nice to have, what you really don’t need,” Bivens says. Once that budget pie is put together in terms of priorities, you have to look at the priorities, but there’s also a human element involved as well.”

Moss says he hopes his established council experience brings in votes this weekend.

“I have a proven track record; I’m not promising what I’m going to do,” says Moss. “We went through that once before when I went out of office in 2004 that we had a candidate that promised a lot of things to the citizens and discovered that a lot of those promises could not be met.”

Moss was first elected to the council in 1998, but was defeated by challenger Donovan Wheatfall in 2004.

Bivens says what she brings to the table is superior communication skills.

“One thing that’s important to be is making sure that as a councilmember I’m in contact with all my board appointees and all of my volunteers and we used to do that on a quarterly basis,” Bivens says. “It hasn’t happened recently.”

Bivens edged Moss by less than 100 votes back in May. Saturday’s run-off will decide the contest once and for all.

Candidate Information:

Franklin Moss (incumbent)

Age: 68 years old

Profession: Real Estate Broker

Fort Worth City Councilor, District 5: 1998-2004 and 2007-present

Gyna Bivens

Age: 58 years old

Profession: President and Executive Director of North Texas LEAD

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.