Tarrant GOP Denies County Turned Blue, Makes Trumpian Claims of Irregularities

A few weeks ago we slapped a blue filter over the Tarrant County Courthouse here. Well, their GOP begs to differ, so we'll go with mauve.
A few weeks ago we slapped a blue filter over the Tarrant County Courthouse here. Well, their GOP begs to differ, so we'll go with mauve. Lauren Drewes Daniels/Canva.com
The Tarrant County GOP is quite agitated the county has been cast as “blue” after the Nov. 3 general election. As mail-in ballots trickled in after Election Day, the seesaw tipped ever so slightly Democratic under the weight of about 1,826 more votes cast for the Biden/Harris ticket than Trump/Pence. It’s not much, but this isn’t horseshoes.

The county hadn’t voted for a Democrat for president since 1964.

Last week, Tarrant County Republican Party Chairman Rick Barnes issued a statement that began with a headline about unsubstantiated voting irregularities in the county and went on to indicate they are looking into them and will take whatever action they deem appropriate.

Barnes' statement also rejects the notion Tarrant County turned blue this election. "That claim could not be further from the truth," Barnes wrote. "There's no doubt we would have like to have seen President Trump carry Tarrant County but the fact that he lost the county by less than one quarter on 1 percent does not make our county blue."

It makes it less red, though outside the presidential race Republicans mostly won the county. For example, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn prevailed over Democrat MJ Hegar, but even that race was much closer than the last election. In 2014, Cornyn received 60% of the votes. This year, Cornyn prevailed in the county with 51% of votes.

Another Democrat also won over Tarrant County voters. Stephen Daniel challenged Republican U.S. Rep. Ron Wright for his seat in District 6. Daniel won the vote in southeast Tarrant County by 51% to 46%. But, the district is split with Hill and Navarro counties, which are rural and conservative. Gerrymandering for the win for Wright, but if nothing else, blue is in the mix for Tarrant County.

As far as voting irregularities, the Tarrant County Republican Party did not respond to the Observer’s request for information. Barnes, who issued the statement about irregularities, serves on the county's Election Board, which oversees the election administrator, the procurement of supplies, appoints members to the early voting ballot board and the early voting signature verification committee. This committee meets with the elections administrator periodically to stay current on election matters.

As a Trump-appointed appellate Justice Stephanos Bibas in Pennslyvania wrote last week when rejecting a Trump campaign lawsuit: "Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here."
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Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.