O’Hare led the whole night, taking a five-point lead in early voting and extending it to six percent based on Election Day voting totals.
He will replace retiring Republican Glen Whitley and be joined on the court by Republican Manny Ramirez (Pct. 4) and Democrat Alisa Simmons (Pct. 2).
The county’s new district attorney (DA) will also be a Republican. Judge Phil Sorrells defeated Democrat Tiffany Burks to replace retiring DA Sharen Wilson.
At the Tarrant County Republican Party watch party, O’Hare spoke of his plans once he takes office to provide property tax relief and support strong law enforcement.
“There’s no scenario where we will shut down a church, school, or business ever again,” he added in reference to measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Political prognosticators and pundits have speculated that the traditionally Republican Tarrant County may be “turning blue” because of recent election results.
In 2018, Democrat Beto O’Rourke won about 4,300 more votes in the county than incumbent Republican Ted Cruz (R-TX) in the race for U.S. Senate. Then in 2020, voters favored Democrat Joe Biden over incumbent Republican Donald Trump by about 2,000 votes.
However, O’Hare declared that last night’s results in favor of Republicans answered the question of a “blue Tarrant County” with an “unequivocal no.”
With a voter turnout of about 47 percent during this midterm where the race for governor led the ballot, Tarrant County voted in favor of Gov. Greg Abbott and all the statewide officeholders by margins of about 4 percent. The county also elected a slate of Republican judges to serve in its courts.
“Republicans came into this election very motivated,” O’Hare told The Texan on Tuesday afternoon. “In Tarrant County, candidates have worked together, better and harder than ever before. Our grassroots supporters, donors, activists, and Republican club leaders have come together for voter turnout, and I think that will show up big in the results.”
O’Hare, an attorney and business owner, served as the mayor of Farmers Branch from 2008 to 2011 and as chair of the Tarrant County Republican Party for two years. He has also been actively involved in the fight in Carroll Independent School District against a “cultural competence action plan” by creating the Southlake Families PAC.
At about 11:00 p.m. on Election Day, Peoples called and congratulated O’Hare on his victory.
She plans to continue being involved. “I don’t ever stop. I’m going to continue to fight for all of the residents of Tarrant County. It doesn’t matter. Everybody who knows me knows I’m going to still be out there fighting for everyone,” she told The Texan on Election Day.
Peoples formerly served as the Tarrant County Democratic chair and unsuccessfully ran for Fort Worth mayor in 2019 and 2021.
Precinct 2 Commissioners Race
Simmons will be replacing Democrat Devan Allen to represent the southeast part of the county. Allen, who won the seat in 2018 but chose not to run again, endorsed Simmons in the race against Republican Andy Nguyen who had held the seat previously.
Nguyen significantly outraised Simmons in campaign contributions and was endorsed by many local officials, but in the end, Simmons defeated him by a margin of about three percent or 4,000 votes.
Precinct 4 Commissioners Race
Ramirez announced his victory early in the night after a strong showing in early voting against his opponent, Democrat Cedric Kanyinda. The eventual results had Ramirez winning by a comfortable 18-point margin.
The seat representing northwest Tarrant County is currently held by Republican J.D. Johnson, who is retiring after serving on the court since 1983.
Ramirez was endorsed by Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and many other state and local officials. He also received the support of the Fort Worth Police Officers Association of which he is president.
Sorrells was a county criminal court judge for 25 years and was a prosecutor for five years before that.
His margin of victory to take office in January was 6.5 percent, outpacing Burks during early voting and on Election Day.
Sorrells plans to work on reducing the backlog of cases that has grown to nearly 40,000 during the pandemic.
During his campaign, he emphasized that his top priority is to keep the community safe. He tied this to the backlog in the courts, saying both victims and perpetrators need to know that justice is done in Tarrant County and there are consequences for their actions.
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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.