A new leadership has emerged in Tarrant County.
Republican Tim O’Hare was sworn in as county judge Sunday afternoon at Tarrant County’s historic courthouse, ushering in a new era of conservative leadership in what has been called the state’s last large Republican county.
O’Hare replaces Glenn Whitley, who served 26 years on Commissioners’ Court and did not seek re-election.
The Southlake native begins his tenure as a county judge with experience on the City Council of the Farmers Chapter of Dallas County. From 2005 he served as a city councilor until 2008 and then as mayor until 2011. He also served as chairman of the Tarrant County GOP from 2016 until he was in 2018.
O’Hare’s appointment to Commissioner’s Court marks a shift in Tarrant County politics. The county has been governed primarily by Republican Whitley and its center-right leaders, Tom Vandergriff, who preceded Whitley as county judge for 16 years. drawing.
As a councilor for the Farmers’ Chapter, O’Hare defended the policy of banning landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants and making English the official language of the city. When he left Dallas County and moved to Southlake, he founded the Southlake Families PAC and opposed Southlake implementing a cultural competence plan at his Carroll’s school.
During his campaign for county judge, O’Hare advocated a 20% reduction in the county’s property tax rate. O’Hare also hopes to create the office of an election integrity officer to improve election practices and draw attention to voter fraud, subject to Commissioner’s Court approval.
Despite the change in leadership, the composition of the Commissioner’s Court remains the same, three Republicans and two Democrats.
Two new commissioners, Democrat Alisa Simmons of the 2nd District and Manny Ramirez of the Republican 4th District, took the oath of office in separate ceremonies on Sunday at the Arlington and Tarrant County Courthouses, respectively.
Democratic Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, representing the First District (Burleson, Benbrook), and Republican Gary Fix, representing the Third District (Southlake, Keller, Grapevine, Collieville), remain on court. . The Fix says he will not seek re-election in 2024.
A large number of people attended O’Hare’s ceremony, including outgoing Texas Republican Congressman Matt Krause, Tarrant Republican Party Chairman Rick Burns, Sheriff Bill Weyborn, and Commissioners Fix and Brooks.
Weyborn told the crowd that he believed God had made Tarrant County a “shining beacon” for the rest of the country, and that he would help O’Hare lead the county’s path to continued success.
Krause said that in the 12 or 13 years since he knew O’Hare, the county judge-elect has always loyally guided him in everything he has done.
“He did everything well and did it with excellence,” Krause said.
Some may question whether O’Hare would do a good job as a county judge, but Klaus pointed to his record.
After taking the oath of office, O’Hare said it was an incredible day for Tarrant County.
“I cannot put into words how honored I am to serve as county judge in Tarrant County, Texas. I believe it’s the largest county in the country,” Halle said. He was greeted with cheers.
He credited his wife Kristen and their four young daughters. And he told the crowd that he would do what he thought was right for everyone in Tarrant County.
O’Hare promised not to close businesses, schools or churches. He said he would keep people from leaving Tarrant County because of high property taxes and crime.
And every decision he makes, he said, is made by his faith.
“I listen and I try to learn. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t pretend to have all the answers,” O’Hare said. “But I will do everything in my power to get the answers and make the best decisions for our county in this wonderful place we call home.”