Candidate Laura Forkner Pritchett, left, incumbent trustee Bill Greenhill and candidate Larry Dale Carpenter Jr. are vying for the District 4 seat on the Tarrant County College District board of trustees. (Fort Worth Report)

Conservative candidates are looking to add another seat on the Tarrant County College District board of trustees to their successful campaigns into traditionally nonpartisan races.

This time, they’ve set their sights on trustee Bill Greenhill, a 13-year incumbent seeking another six-year term representing west Fort Worth, Azle, Haslet, Watauga, North Richland Hills and Haltom City.

Two candidates, Laura Forkner Pritchett and Larry Dale Carpenter Jr., are challenging Greenhill for the District 4 seat on the TCC board

A third candidate, Jack Reynolds, will be listed on the ballot, but he suspended his campaign. 

The three candidates agree that TCC’s property tax rate, not politics, is the driving force in the election.

Early voting begins April 24 and ends May 2. Election Day is May 6.

Increasingly partisan race for nonpartisan seat

Pritchett and Carpenter are flexing their conservative bonafides on the campaign trail. 

Pritchett is a Tarrant County Republican precinct chair who previously ran for a seat on the Azle City Council. 

In 2022, Carpenter ran for the Republican nomination for Tarrant County Precinct 4 commissioner and lost to now-Commissioner Manny Ramirez.

If either candidate denies Greenhill another term, their path to the TCC board would mirror that of District 2 trustee Shannon Wood. She ousted Conrad Heede, a longtime trustee who was board president; she beat him 66.5% to his 33.5%.

Greenhill, who works for the law firm Haynes Boone, sees shades of that effort this election. However, the difference between this race and the 2021 election is that his race is not happening at the same time as a controversial K-12 school board race, Greenhill said. 

Two years ago, conservative candidates aimed and flipped seats on the Carroll ISD school board in Southlake. Wood’s district includes Southlake, Keller, Grapevine and Colleyville.

Partisan politics — left or right — have no place on the TCC board, Greenhill said.

“This is a nonpartisan public service. Meeting students, young and old, and meeting people where they are to help them with their careers — I don’t see any political issues,” Greenhill, 76, said. “I have a compassion for serving the community, and it has nothing to do with politics.”

Greenhill, Carpenter and Pritchett voted in the 2022 Republican primary, according to the Tarrant County GOP.

Carpenter, who owns the conservative ad agency Red Brand Media, is running as a constitutional conservative candidate. He said he has not heard any voters express concern about partisanship in the race for the traditionally nonpartisan position.

“Even though I’m fighting for the conservative cause, my whole policy is I want to keep politics out,” Carpenter, 35, said.

Pritchett, 52, does not see her race as having partisan tones. Instead, she is trying to bring values of her fellow Tarrant County residents to the TCC board.

“It’s very important that the decisions that are being made as a trustee are in line with the conservative values of the majority of the people within Tarrant County,” Pritchett said.

Property tax rate key issue

The TCC board needs more conservatives like him, Carpenter said. He views the board as having six Democrats and one conservative, Wood. 

Carpenter pointed to the tax rate as a key difference among him, Greenhill and most of the current board. 

In September, TCC trustees, in a 6-0 vote, with Wood absent, set the property tax rate at 13 cents per $100 of property valuation — the same rate levied in the 2021-22 budget. In August, Wood voted against setting the proposed tax rate at 13 cents.

“We don’t have people who are working for the taxpayer and not listening to them,” Carpenter said.

If elected, Carpenter plans to push for the board to adopt the no-new-revenue rate for the 2023-24 budget. The no-new-revenue rate would bring in the same amount of property tax revenue as the previous budget; that rate will not be set until after property appraisals are certified later this summer.

Likewise, Pritchett described TCC residents as overtaxed at a time when inflation is hitting residents’ pocketbooks hard.

TCC needs good fiscal management, Pritchett said.

“If there is any waste in the budget, we need to take a look at that and we need to right size the budget according to the actual needs of the college,” she said.

Greenhill is proud that the TCC board has kept the tax rate the same for four years, he said. 

TCC has a limited number of sources of revenue. Property tax revenue is one. The others include tuition, which Greenhill said is among the lowest for a major community college in Texas, and state funding, which may see changes this legislative session.

Above all, though, Greenhill is focused on the tax rate.

“Making sure that we maintain that tax rate is a top priority for me,” Greenhill said. 

While the rate remained the same, TCC residents are paying more in property taxes because of higher appraisals — a fact Greenhill acknowledged. 

The 2022 average home value in TCC was $267,925. That homeowner’s property tax bill to the college was $348.76. In 2021, their home was valued at $239,477 and would have owed $311.73 to TCC. That homeowner paid $37.03 more in property taxes because of higher appraised values.

Direction of TCC board

This election could pave the way for two more conservative trustees, Carpenter said. 

The District 5 seat is on the May 6 ballot, too. Arlington educator Nikki Stroba is challenging incumbent Leonard Hornsby. Like Carpenter and Pritchett, Stroba is running as a conservative.

“I’m very optimistic about this. I think that we could get a board that could change this thing and turn this ship around,” Carpenter said.

Pritchett is hoping for the same outcome.

“I certainly hope that there’s more representation of those who share these same values that I adhere to,” Pritchett said.

Carpenter lags behind Pritchett and Greenhill in fundraising, according to campaign finance reports. Greenhill has raised $9,550 since January. Pritchett has brought in $4,615, while Carpenter has collected $2,593.

Greenhill raised more than both his opponents combined.

Greenhill wants to see the current team of trustees remain. Together, they have worked as a team to tackle major issues, such as selecting Elva LeBlanc as chancellor and managing the voter-approved $825 million bond, he said.

“I am committed to campaigning whatever it takes to win this election,” Greenhill said. “I’m doing it mostly by advocating the impact that the college has on the community and the advancements that we made during my tenure with the teamwork of the trustees.”

The next trustee for District 4 may not be clear on Election Day. With four names on the ballot, a runoff is a possibility.

Disclosure: Bill Greenhill has been a financial supporter of the Fort Worth Report. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at or via Twitter.

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Jacob SanchezEnterprise Reporter

Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise reporter for the Fort Worth Report. His work has appeared in the Temple Daily Telegram, The Texas Tribune and the Texas Observer. He is a graduate of St. Edward’s University....