The County That Could Decide Everything

by | Oct 24, 2022 | 2022 Elections, Politics

With early voting starting today, all eyes are on the voters of Texas. And one county could portend where the state is heading.

Tarrant County, which is home to Fort Worth, has been one of the fastest growing areas of the state. And slowly, the state’s third most populous county has been trending democratic. In 2020, Joe Biden narrowly carried the state by less than one percentage point.

Republicans are well-aware of the shifting dynamic in Tarrant County. According to Scott Braddock from Quorum Report, Greg Abbott’s internal polling showed he was down by four points. And some major Republican donors are pouring money into several races in the battleground county.

When Glen Whitley, who recently endorsed Mike Collier for Lieutenant Governor, announced he would not be seeking re-election as Tarrant County Judge, it set off a frenzy of candidates to replace him. Tim O’Hare, a real estate attorney and former mayor of Farmers Branch, is the Republican nominee. He beat three other candidates, including former Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price.

O’Hare is running with an extreme rightwing agenda. He is the founder of Southlake Families PAC. Their website notes that they are strongly rooted in “Judeo-Christian” principles, and they are opposed to “cancel culture” and “critical race theory” (which is not taught in K-12 schools in Texas). On Twitter, O’Hare praised when Roe v. Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court. “Now Texas is poised to end abortion in our state,” he said.

O’Hare’s opponent is former Tarrant County Democratic County Chair Deborah Peoples. She earned the endorsement of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She is up against a flurry of spending from Republicans. O’Hare received $100,000 from oil executive Hollis Sullivan. O’Hare told the Star-Telegram that Don Woodward, Jr. and Montgomery Bennett, who recently lost a defamation case against a Dallas paper and journalist, were two other major donors.

Republicans are also spending big in the race for Tarrant County District Attorney. In 2018, Sharen Wilson won with 53 percent of the vote. She announced she was not running for re-election last year. Phil Sorrells won the Republican nomination, and now faces Tiffany Burks.

Burks is raising the alarm about the influx of rightwing cash coming to Sorrells. Early voting in Texas goes until November 4.

Photo: Tony Webster via Wikimedia Commons

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A longtime writer and journalist, Jessica was thrilled to join the Texas Signal where she could utilize her unique perspective on politics and culture. As the Features and Opinion Editor, she is responsible for coordinating editorials and segments from diverse authors. She is also the host of the podcast the Tex Mix, as well as the co-host for the weekly SignalCast. Jessica attended Harvard College, is a onetime fitness blogger, and has now transitioned to recreational runner (for which her joints are thankful).

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