Conservatives are saying “Hale Yes” to re-electing the incumbent in a North Texas county’s contested Republican primary for commissioners court.
Collin County Precinct 3 Commissioner Darrell Hale has earned the backing of every local and statewide conservative group endorsing in the race, including Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, and has united the county’s conservative grassroots and elected officials behind his re-election.
Hale’s campaign has focused on his record while serving as commissioner.
“I have actually done everything I said I would do—hold to the effective tax rate, communicate effectively, and represent you down in Austin on bills that matter to you,” Hale said at a candidate forum last week.
“I have fulfilled my campaign promises to you before, and I intend to again.”
Hale was first elected in 2018 to fill the unexpired term of now-County Judge Chris Hill, who has also endorsed Hale.
Since then, he says, the county has continued to provide great service at a low cost to taxpayers.
In his first budget year in office, Hale voted for the effective tax rate, which collects the same amount of property tax revenue overall from the same properties taxed the previous year.
Hale said he will continue to support the taxpayer-friendly effective rate—the “standard set in Collin County” for eight of the past 10 years—and would oppose any county tax increase above the new voter-approval limit set by the state legislature.
Both Hale and Hill actively supported last year’s property tax reform legislation and testified in Austin in favor of Senate Bill 2, which limits certain local governments to 3.5 percent property tax hikes without voter approval. Hale said he polled his constituents first to confirm they also favored the tax reform measure.
In addition to helping keep county taxes and spending in check, Hale delivered on his promise of transparency and accountability. Since taking office, he initiated weekly emails detailing court activities and inviting feedback. He regularly connects with constituents via social media and even shares his personal cell phone number.
Hale, 48, lives in McKinney with his wife and four daughters. Prior to running for public office, he ran a successful small business, worked 15 years in corporate telecommunications dealing with multimillion-dollar contracts and multinational companies, and served in the Army.
The West Point graduate credits his military education and experience with honing the leadership and problem-solving skills he brings to his work for the county.
He told Texas Scorecard the future of Collin County—and Precinct 3, in particular—is all about growth. That means new roads, infrastructure, and services for unincorporated areas of the county, as well as cooperative projects with cities. Growth also means eventual expansion of the county’s jail and courthouse.
Hale says he is energized by engaging on issues important to Collin County residents, adding the commissioners court makes the broader policy decisions that enable others to make the county run. “We’re not driving a car,” he said. “We’re steering a ship.”
He says his best qualification is that he’s been doing the job already, and his endorsements indicate conservatives agree.
Hale is backed by every local conservative grassroots group endorsing in the race: Collin County Conservative Republicans, Grassroots McKinney, McKinney Tea Party, and DFWPAC.
Local officials who interact regularly with the commissioners court also endorse Hale’s re-election, including County Judge Chris Hill, Sheriff Jim Skinner, Precinct 2 Commissioner Cheryl Williams, and many more current and former county and city officials. All six of the area’s state lawmakers endorsing in the race also back Hale.
Statewide organizations endorsing Hale include Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, Texas Right to Life, Texas Values Action, Texas Home School Coalition, Grassroots America – We the People, and US IMPACT.
Hale’s primary challenger, Steve Terrell, cites as his top qualification for the job of county commissioner his 23 years as mayor of Allen—a position he automatically resigned on December 9 when he filed to run for commissioner, though he continued to act in his official capacity for another five weeks. Terrell also touts his service on the Regional Transportation Commission and North Central Texas Council of Governments.
Terrell told voters he too supports the effective tax rate, though the city of Allen never hit that target during his tenure. He also said he supports property tax reform but did not advocate in Austin for the measure. “I didn’t go down and speak for or against SB 2, but I do support SB 2,” Terrell said at last week’s forum.
Terrell is endorsed by the mayors of McKinney, Plano, Prosper, and Wylie; several Allen City Council members and other local officeholders; and over two dozen former elected officials from around the county.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Susan Fletcher is also up for re-election this year but is unopposed in the Republican primary. Both Fletcher and the Precinct 3 primary winner will face Democrat opponents in November but are likely to prevail in the solid-red county. Every county and state elected official in Collin is Republican.
Early voting in the March 3 primary runs February 18-28.