Former Tarrant County Republican Chairman Tim O’Hare has defeated Democrat Deborah Peoples to become the next county judge.
O’Hare will replace outgoing County Judge Glen Whitley (R), who served in the position for 15 years.
This election marks the end of an era with Whitley leaving office. Throughout his tenure, he raised the ire of the grassroots with his opposition to property tax reform and his participation in Tarrant County commissioners’ attempt to bring more refugees to the county in defiance of Gov. Greg Abbott. Whitley was also a longtime advocate of a troubled software program for which Dallas and Tarrant County taxpayers shelled out $69 million from 2012 to 2017. Whitley sits on the board of the Texas Conference of Urban Counties, the parent organization of the software company. He is still listed as the vice chair of the software project.
Historically, the other Republican commissioners would often follow Whitley. The known exception to this would be former Commissioner Andy Nguyen.
Whitley turned his back on his party once again by publicly announcing his endorsement of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s Democrat opponent, Mike Collier. Whitley claimed this was because of previous disagreements with Lt. Gov. Patrick and his belief that Democrat Collier would be a better fit for the people.
Collier was defeated by Patrick tonight.
Whitley also denied Tarrant County residents freedom during the Chinese coronavirus, despite citizens’ objections. He continued to push for restrictions, shutting down businesses, enforcing mask-wearing, and issuing stay-at-home orders.
In the race to take over for the outgoing judge, O’Hare faced Deborah Peoples, the former chair of the Tarrant County Democrat Party.
Just a month before the election, Peoples announced her belief that the border crisis, one of the biggest issues among Texas voters, was not an issue. In fact, Peoples went so far as to say that open borders in the U.S. “are a human right.” She added that she would strongly advocate for the borders to remain open.
O’Hare, meanwhile, made it very clear after Peoples’ announcement that he believes the borders need to be closed. He announced that he will keep Texans safe by advocating for a closed border and that he believes there is “not a single reason why a county leader should advocate for illegal border crossing.”
O’Hare’s campaign also focused on a responsible and ethical limited government that supports the people, lowering the high property taxes that Texans face, supporting law enforcement, bringing in more high-quality jobs, eliminating taxpayer-funded lobbying, and election integrity.
He will take office on January 1, 2022.