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Tarrant County selects new elections administrator after Heider Garcia’s controversial departure

The Tarrant County Election Commission at an Apr. 25, 2023 meeting, where they heard mostly complaints from the public about Elections Administrator Heider Garcia's resignation.
Emily Nava
The Tarrant County Election Commission at an Apr. 25, 2023 meeting, where they heard mostly complaints from the public about Elections Administrator Heider Garcia's resignation.

Tarrant County picked a new elections administrator Friday to replace Heider Garcia, who submitted his resignation earlier this year after he said he faced political pressure from Republican County Judge Tim O'Hare.

The Tarrant County Election Commission voted unanimously to hire Clint Ludwig, the chief deputy of the Tarrant County Clerk’s Office, on Friday morning. His start date is Aug. 1.

“I am extremely honored to have been selected as the Tarrant County Elections Administrator,” Ludwig said in a statement. “I will approach this opportunity with great enthusiasm, tenacity, and a commitment to excellence. You can trust that I will further Tarrant County’s legacy of conducting free and fair elections that express the will of the people.”

The elections administrator is in charge of running Tarrant County’s elections process. The previous administrator, Heider Garcia, submitted his resignation in April, because he said he couldn't run a fair, unbiased election alongside Republican Tarrant County Judge Tim O’Hare.

O’Hare denied that he pressured Garcia to quit.

Garcia’s resignation led U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, alongside other local Democrats, to request a federal investigation into O’Hare’s actions and the county’s Election Integrity Unit.

The hiring process to replace Garcia has also generated controversy. The Election Commission in charge of picking the new administrator included O'Hare, as well as the heads of the local Democratic and Republican parties, the county clerk and the county tax assessor-collector.

First, O’Hare told reporters he wouldn’t rule out someone who had questioned the results of the 2020 election.

Then, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that one of the finalists for the job was Karen Wiseman, a conservative voter fraud activist who once sued Garcia.

O'Hare voted for Ludwig on Friday, but he did offer praise for Wiseman before the vote.

"To Karen Wiseman, if the vote does not go her way, I think she's very capable, and cares a lot about her country and elections," O'Hare said. "But I do believe my opinion is that Clint would make an outstanding choice."

Ludwig doesn’t have experience running elections, but his previous roles will still help him in his new one, he said in the statement.

“I have years as a senior executive in a large organization, a proven track record of exceeding expectations in all that I undertake, and 20 years in the United States Marine Corps where I learned early and often to adapt and overcome,” Ludwig said. “This will be the foundation of our collective success. I want to thank the Tarrant County Commissioners Court and the Tarrant County Election Commission for their confidence in me.”

Got a tip? Email Miranda Suarez at You can follow Miranda on Twitter @MirandaRSuarez.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Miranda Suarez is KERA’s Tarrant County accountability reporter. Before coming to North Texas, she was the Lee Ester News Fellow at Wisconsin Public Radio, where she covered statewide news from the capital city of Madison. Miranda is originally from Massachusetts and started her public radio career at WBUR in Boston.