TxWes alum runs for City Council

Texas Wesleyan graduate James McBride is one of four candidates running for the Fort Worth City Council position for District 4 in the upcoming elections.

The TxWes alum and newly hired Texas Wesleyan Athletics Communication Director isn’t new to elections and has had a passion to serve his community for years. McBride, who found his political interests while enrolled in a course outlining social problems at Tarrant County College (TCC), previously ran for mayor in 2019 against Mayor Betsy Price and democratic candidate Deborah Peoples.

When his TCC professor suggested he consider politics, at first he didn’t think politics was the path for him. However, after researching the 2019 mayor candidates, one being a fiscal conservative and the other the head of the Democratic Party in Fort Worth, he felt the citizens needed a neutral option.

As a student, Fort Worth City Council member candidate James McBride appreciated the academic guidance of Assistant Director Academic Advising Muhye Hammattah.

“My belief is that municipal politics should be done for the betterment of whatever the community is, it shouldn’t be about left or right. And so I wanted to get into that race basically to have a third choice for people to decide for if they didn’t want to go left or right,” said McBride.

During his time as a student at Texas Wesleyan, he made an impression with his “persistence and dedication” according to Assistant Director Academic Advising and Retention Muhye Hammattah.

“I feel like James can do a lot of good in the world in general. His campaign for city council is a reflection of his leadership abilities. He is able to work with all kinds of people in a positive manner, which is what you want from someone in a leadership position,” Hammattah said.


As a current candidate for the District 4 seat, which covers the area east of Interstate 35W from Keller down to Carter Riverside and across to Loop 820 in an “L” shape, McBride discussed how he wants to approach city issues from a different perspective with a focused view, instead of the way other city officials who “take too big of a mindset to look at things.”

“I see a lot of things that are going on [in the community] that still aren’t fixed, and I think I’ve got solutions to fix problems,” he said.

One problem McBride feels needs to be addressed is proactive police reform, fixing issues before they become problems instead of managing a problem after the fact. His inspiration started with an assignment in his Digital Production at Texas Wesleyan.

Recalling when they were in the same classes, fourth year mass communication major Arely Chavez recognized McBride’s professionalism and work ethic. Often he would incorporate community issues into his projects as he applied his personal passions to his school work. “His objective even when he was a mass comm student, was to focus on his future with the city council.”

During his research he started focusing on sensible police reform after the 2019 shooting of Atatiana Jefferson by a former Fort Worth police officer. The nationwide news made McBride wonder what improvements within the police department can help prevent a repeated situation.

The city of Fort Worth’s solution was to hire Kim Neal, who has experience investigating police misconduct, in 2020 as a police monitor to facilitate reports about police officers made by concerned citizens.

According to McBride, Neal’s retroactive approach to the shooting was not enough, helping him to come to the decision to run for a city councilmember seat. “[There] needs to be a time where we can deal with this issue and have it up in the front instead of being on our heels responding to everything once it happens,” he said.

Another concern McBride noticed is how some people in society automatically agree to decisions because the person next to them suggested it. Others tend to stay on their side of politics, only choosing things on the left or right because it aligns with their political party.

“My main voice is I just want people to be free thinkers; to think about everything; to look at what’s going on and listen to everybody in the community,” said McBride. “Then don’t go ‘it’s left or right [so] it’s the best way to [make decisions].’ What you need to do is look for the most pragmatic approach to solving the problems.”

McBride’s service to his community doesn’t stop at running for city council. In his spare time, he hosts a local podcast on Sunday nights called Local Voter Education on Blog Talk Radio where he discusses local issues. His previous guests include Neal, District 8 Councilmember Chris Nettles, assistant city managers and some of the other district 4 candidates.

“It was good to hear [the other candidates] talk about what they wanted to change, but it was also good to know that some of the things you wanted to do are things that are being talked about,” he said.

Early voting for City Council District 4 is running until May 3rd and election day is May 7th.