Fort Worth ISD school board candidate Josh Yoder led his opponents, Kevin Lynch and incumbent CJ Evans, in fundraising during April. (Matthew Sgroi | Fort Worth Report)

In a matter of weeks, Josh Yoder went from the bottom of his race in fundraising to outraising all Fort Worth ISD school board candidates — without a single political action committee donation.

Yoder, a first-time candidate seeking the District 5 seat, raised $16,600, according to campaign finance reports covering most of April. Combined, candidates for Fort Worth ISD raised $44,595. Only $7,000 — 6.4% — came from PACs. 

PACs and law firms were the largest donors in Fort Worth ISD races earlier in campaign finance reports covering the first three months of the year, but were scarce in the latest reporting period.

Yoder’s money came from 32 donations this period, including eight contributions of $1,000 or more.

PACs back incumbents, newcomer 

Much of the PAC support went to incumbents in the latest finance reports. 

The Great Schools Great Cities PAC gave $2,000 to District 5 incumbent CJ Evans. Before this round of fundraising, the PAC had donated $10,000 to her challenger, Kevin Lynch.

Former trustee Judy Needham founded the Great School Great Cities PAC and often gives money in the school board races. Evans previously told the Fort Worth Report she knew Needham would support Lynch.

In the latest finance report, the conservative Fort Worth Excellence PAC donated $2,500 to Lynch. 

Other PAC donations include a $2,500 sum from the Good Government Fund to District 3 incumbent Quinton Phillips. The largest contributors to the Good Government Fund PAC include Sid Bass, Edward Bass and Ramona and Lee M. Bass. 

How much did other candidates raise?

District 2 incumbent Tobi Jackson outraised her opponent Pat Carlson again.

Jackson raised $8,500 during the reporting period. Her largest donation was from Bryan Walsh, owner of Fort Worth-based Regent Services; he donated $6,000.

Carlson raised $1,875; her largest donation was $500.

In District 3, incumbent Quinton Phillips outraised his opponents with $4,555.

Valeria Nevárez raised $775, including a $250 donation from Yoder. 

Mar’Tayshia James did not file her campaign finance reports by the April 28 deadline.

In District 5, Lynch raised the second highest amount of money with $8,130. Evans raised $4,160. Both Lynch and Evans received their largest donations from PACs.

Early voting for the Fort Worth ISD school board ends May 2. Election Day is May 6.

Editor’s note: This story was updated May 2, 2023. The table detailing donations to Fort Worth ISD school board candidates include the incorrect spelling of a donor.

Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at

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

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.

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Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. She has previous experience in education reporting for her hometown paper, the Longview News-Journal and her college paper, The Daily...

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....