Toxic primary politics cost Tarrant County a good elections administrator

It’s curious to hear Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare describe what he wants in a new elections administrator.

“It’s got to be somebody who is a good listener. It’s got to be somebody that understands their role. Their role is to administer fair, secure, and honest elections. This needs to be someone with some elections experience, with some experience with technology. We want someone who works well with others,” O’Hare said, according to KXAS-TV (NBC5).

Tarrant County already had all of this in Heider Garcia, a widely respected elections administrator who recently announced his resignation, citing a disagreement with O’Hare. Garcia’s resignation letter suggested that he was facing pressure from O’Hare to inject politics into his job. Both men have declined to talk to reporters about the discussion that prompted Garcia to resign, but O’Hare said he didn’t threaten to fire Garcia.

A narrow base of primary voters propelled O’Hare to office last year, smitten by his partisan attacks against “woke, far-left liberalism and cancel culture.” Even though O’Hare won the primary and the general election, he campaigned on a promise to scrutinize the county’s elections office.


Get smart opinions on the topics North Texans care about.

Tarrant County was the subject of a state audit and was praised for its performance. The final audit report issued in December stated that the county “administers a quality, transparent election.” Former Texas Secretary of State John B. Scott, a Republican, said Garcia’s work as an administrator should be emulated around the state.

O’Hare publicly picked on Garcia for doing media interviews “over and over and over,” according to KERA and Fort Worth Report. But Garcia talked to everyone, not just reporters. He won admirers for his openness, particularly with skeptics, whom he welcomed to tour elections facilities and review records, and whose questions he and his staff took seriously. Even a Garcia critic who spoke at a public forum this week credited him for being accessible.

O’Hare told reporters this week that he wouldn’t rule out election deniers as candidates to replace Garcia. This may very well be where O’Hare sends the good people of Tarrant County looking for their next elections administrator — the bottom of the barrel.

We welcome your thoughts in a letter to the editor. See the guidelines and submit your letter here.

Source link

Source: News

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *