Democrat Deborah Peoples vs. Republican Tim O'Hare

Tarrant County voters have a choice in this election between district judge candidates who we believe will bring a completely different approach to the job.

One, Deborah Peoples, 70 years old, is an optimistic and unifying presence focusing on the issues the county government must address for the residents of this important region of ours. We fear that the other, Tim O’Hare, 53, would use the district judgeship in a way that is divisive, focusing on polarizing national political issues that have little to do with running Tarrant County. That difference is illustrated by the way Peoples and O’Hare answered our question about why they’re running.

O’Hare, an attorney and former Farmers Branch mayor, wrote, “We have seen an unprecedented assault on our liberties and an overreaching, power-grabbing effort at every level of government.” He was referring to pandemic restrictions. While we agree that schools should have opened earlier and that the curfew was overstretched, his stance on this historic violation of freedom is overwhelming. Meanwhile,
Peoples said he is running to show that “Tarrant means business.” This is a refreshing message to people who understand the work of local leaders to attract and retain good jobs in Tarrant County. People bring optimism and a forward-looking perspective that business leaders in this country are likely to embrace.

O’Hare’s victory in the Republican primary over longtime Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has divided Tarrant County Republicans. Former District Judge Glenn Whitley, a GOP stalwart, has faced divisive politics and will not support O’Hare. Both Price and Whitley described his primary campaign as unreliable and flawed. Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said she can’t run in the Republican primary or look in the mirror.

It is time to send a message that such policies must be stopped. Peoples, a retired AT&T CEO, can be left-leaning on some national political issues. But he is all for a secure prison in Tarrant County, for the John Peter Smith Hospital to be among the best public hospitals in the country, and for the county’s roads to be snuffed.

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