Candidates in Fort Worth ISD’s District 5 race shared similar campaign promises, which might explain why voters sent incumbent CJ Evans and Kevin Lynch to a June 10 runoff.

In unofficial results on May 6, Lynch secured 45.96% of votes and Evans 31.4%. Josh Yoder came in third with 22.64%.

In District 2, board president Tobi Jackson will keep her seat after easily defeating newcomer Pat Carlson.

Despite having three candidates in the race, incumbent Quinton Phillips avoided a runoff and will keep his District 3 seat.

Voter turnout was low in the election, with only 8.91% of registered voters casting ballots in Tarrant County.

Runoff on the west side

Evans and Lynch both advocated for academic excellence and smarter budgeting on the campaign trail. Josh Yoder wants the same, but with more of a focus on parental engagement.

“I’m looking forward to running a positive runoff campaign to continue showing the voters I am the best candidate in this race to improve our schools and protect taxpayers,” Evans said.

Lynch could not be reached for comment on Saturday night.

Though early in the campaign Yoder struggled to raise as much as Lynch and Evans, by the end of April he outraised everyone with over $16,000. He raised the amount without political action committee donations.

The board president gets another term

Jackson believes her work ethic and the relationships she’s forged in the last 13 years helped her win another term, she said on Saturday night.

She won with 68.42% of votes against Carlson. 

Jackson decided to run for another term because she believes her institutional knowledge and experience will help a young school board. She wants to see the bond through construction. 

Jackson served as board president in 2017 and 2021, both years that voters approved bonds totaling around $2 billion.

Additionally, she told the Fort Worth Report she wants to help the new superintendent, Angélica Ramsey, in her transition and work with the board to hold her accountable.

“I promise that I will deliver on the bond and on student achievement and work as hard as I can to make sure that our children have every opportunity they desire and make sure we take care of our employees,” Jackson said. 

Specifically, she said, delivering on the bond means building Meadowbrook Middle School, William James Middle School and Eastern Hills Elementary School. 

To increase student achievement, Jackson said she wants to see Ramsey provide appropriate curriculum and professional development for teachers.

Carlson threw her name in the hat on the filing deadline. She said someone in the community called and asked her to run, so she did. But she also told the Fort Worth Report if she’d had more time to reflect, she wouldn’t have filed.

Typically, Carlson spends time in Austin as a lobbyist, specifically against climate change. Carlson said she cares about what is happening to kids in schools and wants to see them succeed.

Jackson far outraised Carlson in the election cycle. In the first campaign finance report filed, Jackson reported over $31,000 raised while Carlson raised $400. By the end of April, Jackson raised another $8,500 and Carlson added $1,875 to her coffers.

“I’m just really pleased that east Fort Worth continues to have faith in my leadership and my ability to work for them,” Jackson said. “I pledge at 100% that I will do my best to continue to serve them to the best of my ability.”

Quinton Phillips gets a second term

His first victory was meaningful, but Saturday night’s victory for Quinton Phillips meant even more, he said

In his first race, Phillips said, people gave him a shot as a native eastsider.

“Now, there’s actual evidence there. There’s a track record,” he said. “So for people to say yes again, that means they actually appreciate what’s going on, and that is validating and it feels incredible.”

Quinton Phillips and his wife, Diondria Phillips, and their children Quinton Phillips II (back) and Austin Phillips (front) at his watch party on May 6 at Smither’s. (Kristen Barton | Fort Worth Report)

Both Phillips and Mar’Tayshia James graduated from Dunbar High School and said they want people to know about the good happening in Fort Worth ISD — while finding solutions to issues that need improvement.

Phillips secured 55.24% of the votes in the election, followed by James with 24.1% and Nevárez with 20.65%.

Nevárez moved to Fort Worth during the COVID-19 pandemic, but started attending school board meetings and getting involved in the community. 

Questions were raised about her residence and whether she lived in District 3. The Report investigated and found multiple addresses listed online, but Nevárez said she lived in the district.

Valeria Nevárez talks to guests at an election watch party on May 6 at 2608 W. Dickson St. (Cristian ArguetaSoto | Fort Worth Report)

The incumbent outraised his challengers. In the first campaign finance reports filed, Phillips raised $9,608 and Nevárez brought in $2,094. At the end of April, Phillips reported another $4,985 and Nevárez raised another $775.

James did not file any campaign finance reports by deadline. On May 5, she filed a report that listed $650 donated.

Phillips said he is grateful for another term and he doesn’t take votes for granted.

“It means something for people to go and take time out of their schedule to push a button with your name. People don’t have to do that,” he said. “I’m eternally grateful that anyone chooses to say yes to me, so I will not let them down as they continue to do so.”

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

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...