Criminal JusticeElections 2022Local NewsTaxes & SpendingRepublican Candidates for Tarrant County Commissioners Court Outraise Democratic Opponents by Significant Margins

With a majority of commissioners court retiring, the court will have a new makeup come January no matter how the midterms go.
October 26, 2022
The majority of the Tarrant County Commissioners Court is up for election on November 8. Three incumbents are not seeking re-election: Commissioner Devan Allen (D-Pct. 2), Commissioner J.D. Johnson (R-Pct. 4), and Republican County Judge Glen Whitley.

Among the races, the county judge has been the most high profile, but the two commissioner races also on the ballot will fill out the remaining seats on the court that governs the county of about two million people.

Republican candidates for all three positions have outraised their Democratic opponents, in one case by a factor of 30.

Precinct 2

Allen announced in November 2021 her intentions on Twitter, “I am ever more grateful for the opportunity to serve as your county commissioner. After a thoughtful and prayerful process, I will not be seeking re-election.”

She won the office in 2018, defeating then-commisioner Andy Nguyen to represent the southeast portions of Tarrant County including Arlington, Grand Prairie, and Mansfield.

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Nguyen is running for the seat again as a Republican. His opponent is Democrat Alisa Simmons.

In the most recent fundraising report, Nguyen had outraised Simmons significantly. Contributions to his campaign totaled $190,000 while Simmons reported a total of $6,235 raised.

Nguyen is endorsed by several county officials including Commissioner Gary Fickes (R-Pct. 3), Sheriff Bill Waybourn, and District Attorney Sharen Wilson, along with many state and local officials and several law enforcement associations.

Nguyen is originally from Vietnam and came to America in 1981. He is a veteran, has worked in the telecommunications industry, and served the Honorable Ron Wright (R-TX-06) as district director and deputy chief of staff before Wright’s death.

Simmons is supported by Allen and Commissioner Roy Brooks (D-Pct. 1), as well as Congressman Marc Veasey (D-TX-33) and several Democratic state representatives.

She was a journalist for 12 years before working at the Tarrant County 9-1-1 District in multiple capacities. She is the president of the Arlington chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas board of directors.

Nguyen lists issues of importance in his campaign such as lowering the tax burden, supporting law enforcement, and improving roads and infrastructure.

Simmons also says she will prioritize lowering property taxes in addition to “ensur[ing] the Sheriff and District Attorney focus on violent crime.”

Precinct 4

Johnson made his retirement intentions known in June 2021 at a commissioners court meeting. He said in his remaining time as a commissioner he would “give his fullest effort to achieving results for all families across Tarrant County.” He has served on the court since 1983.

Seeking to replace Johnson as the commissioner for Precinct 4, encompassing west Fort Worth and northwest Tarrant County, are Republican Manny Ramirez and Democrat Cendric Kanyinda.

The latest fundraising report shows Ramirez raising almost $55,000 in contrast to Kanyinda, who reported no dollars raised in the period between July 1 and September 30.

Ramirez has garnered the endorsements of both Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, along with Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-Irving). He is also endorsed by multiple other state and local officials.

Ramirez is a Fort Worth native and has served in law enforcement. He currently serves as the police president of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association, which also endorsed him.

Kanyinda does not have any endorsements listed on his website, but his platform lists healthcare, housing, public infrastructure, and taxes as issues of importance.

County Judge

Whitley announced his planned retirement as the county’s chief official in June 2021. He has been county judge since 2007.

“I have decided that now is the time to prepare for the next chapter of leadership for Tarrant County. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve my county and to do so alongside my fellow commissioners,” Whitley said.

“I raised my family in Tarrant County, I started my business in Tarrant County, and I will continue to serve Tarrant County with all that I have for the remainder of my term and into my next chapter.”

Seeking to replace him are Republican Tim O’Hare and Democrat Deborah Peoples.

O’Hare, who was mayor of Farmers Branch and served as the chair of the Tarrant County GOP, is a lawyer and business owner.

He outraised Peoples by nearly six times, reporting over $600,000 in contributions from July through September.

Peoples reported contributions totaling $101,807 in the same period.

She ran twice for mayor of Fort Worth and also served as chair of the Tarrant County Democrats.

O’Hare names transparency and accountability in government, support for public safety, lowering taxes, and promoting business growth in the county as some key issues in his campaign.

He is endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Abbott, and Patrick, along with many state and local officials. The Fort Worth Police Association and Tarrant County Law Enforcement Association also endorsed O’Hare.

Peoples is a self-proclaimed “progressive leader in the community,” and includes “investing in high-quality early childhood programs, seeking evidence-based and sustainable solutions for criminal justice reform, investing in broadband availability to every resident, investing in free public WIFI to Tarrant County families, and reviewing our current county-level debt to ensure no increases in property taxes” as some of her top priorities.

Her endorsements are not listed on her website.

O’Hare and Peoples addressed other issues during a candidate forum hosted by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce in late September.

Early voting has started and will continue until November 4. Election Day is Tuesday, November 8.


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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a regional reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.