Republican Tarrant County judge holds meet and greet for Democratic lieutenant governor candidate

Republican Tarrant County judge holds meet and greet for Democratic lieutenant governor candidate

Republican Tarrant County Judge B. Glen Whitley gives voters a chance to learn more about the democratic Lt. Governor candidate.

FORT WORTH, Texas — In June of 2021, Lt Governor Dan Patrick announced his intentions and future plans in Texas politics. 

After announcing his re-election campaign Patrick probably never expected a Texas-size surprise from inside his own political party. 

Not only has Republican Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley endorsed Patrick’s Democratic opponent, but he also hopes to attract voters too during a Mike Collier meet and greet. The event took place at the Fort Worth Club on Wednesday.

Whitley is a longtime and well-known leader who leads the Tarrant County Commissioner Court. He is one of two Fort Worth leaders who organized the meet and greet.

“I wanted to give everybody an opportunity to just ask questions. It’s not a fundraiser,” said Whitley. “I wanted to give him an opportunity to talk about his priorities, which are education, infrastructure, and decrease the property taxes.”

Collier is campaigning across Texas every day. Collier told WFAA how he and Whitley ended up on the same page despite their different political parties. 

“He is very passionate about local control as I am and we have known each other for some time, and I am very honored he would step out and endorse me,” said Collier. 

Patrick did not make himself available for interviews about the meet and greet. However, campaign consultant Allen Blakemore emailed WFAA the following statement:

“Judge Whitley is a dinosaur, flailing about looking to Biden Democrats like Mike Collier in a search for relevance. The Republican taxpayers and voters who elected Whitley have rejected his skyrocketing property tax increases and his big-spending approach to government — his most recent bloated county budget is a prime example.

“Enter, stage left, Mike Collier, a two-time loser, trying desperately to reinvent himself. He says there’s ‘no daylight between him and Joe Biden’ while he’s trying to reinvent himself as some kind of reformed Republican. This wacky juxtaposition leaves him with no allies and no real base to launch a credible campaign in 2022.”

Whitley has taken some heat for his bold move to endorse someone outside of the Republican Party.  

This is his final year serving in politics for Tarrant County. For many years Whitley has earned the respect of fellow politicians not just locally but statewide as well. Others in the Republican Party have joined him in endorsing Mike Collier.  

Whitley believes Collier will help put a stop to state mandates that force local government budgets to cover what he calls the state’s financial responsibilities.  

Whitley uses the example of inmates incarcerated on state charges but held in local jails costing Tarrant County taxpayers to cover their costs for care and imprisonment.  Whitley argues if the state paid for its own inmates, county taxes could be lower. 

After historic meet and greet, voters may see even more action from Whitley before he leaves office. He told WFAA that if need be, he will help Collier reach even more voters in Tarrant County.  

Just like Patrick, Collier plans to increase his presence all across Texas as part of his outreach on the campaign trail. WFAA asked Whitley if he plans to hit the road with Collier. 

“You know, I don’t know that I’m going to go out. If he asks me, then I’ll consider it,” said Whitley.

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