From Fort Worth Report:
Tarrant County’s respected elections chief, Heider Garcia, is leaving his job because he feels he can’t run nonpartisan elections with Tim O’Hare as county judge.
Tarrant County is in the market for a new elections chief, leaving some wondering who would want the job after the current administrator resigned over conflicts with the county judge.
Heider Garcia has run Tarrant County’s election department since 2018, and his job performance has earned praise across the state. He announced his resignation in a letter dated April 16, citing a difference in values with the county’s top elected official, County Judge Tim O’Hare.
“Judge O’Hare, my formula to ‘administer a quality transparent election’ stands on respect and zero politics; compromising on these values is not an option for me,” Garcia wrote in the letter. “You made it clear in our last meeting that your formula is different, thus, my decision to leave. I wish you the best; Tarrant County deserves that you find success.”
Garcia’s last day as the county’s election administrator is June 23, according to the letter. Garcia earned about $152,067 annually.
O’Hare, a Republican, has shown an interest in county elections since he began campaigning for County Judge. In February, he, along with District Attorney Phil Sorrells and Sheriff Bill Waybourn, announced the creation of an Election Integrity Task Force to prosecute election crimes, even though those crimes are rare in Tarrant County. He did not consult Garcia in that effort. O’Hare also indicated this month that he planned to review Garcia’s job performance.