Texas Dem Lands Himself in Hot Water

(USNewsMag.com) – A Democratic candidate running for commissioner of a Texas precinct was arrested for allegedly impersonating someone else on social media in order to send fabricated hateful comments to himself.

Thirty-year-old Taral Patel was arrested on Wednesday, June 12, on charges of “misrepresentation of identity” and “online impersonation.” He allegedly sent insulting and racist comments and direct messages to himself over a period of several months. Patel impersonated a supporter of Andy Meyers, the incumbent Republican Commissioner for the Fort Bend Precinct 3 while Patel ran against Meyers for the position.

The investigation into Patel began in October 2023 after law enforcement received a request from Meyers himself to look into who was sending the threatening remarks to Patel.

The investigation found that Patel used an image of an actual resident of Fort Bend for his social media profile picture to give the impression that he was a local supporter of Meyers. Patel took screenshots of some of the remarks from the fake page and then shared the messages to his actual social media page to generate sympathy and support, claiming the comments represented the Republican Party and its “deep and misguided fear” of minorities.

Patel said that he was “always open to criticism” of his political positions, but that Meyers supporters are hurling “racist, anti-immigrant, Hindu-phobic,” and “other insults” against him and his family, community, and colleagues, which Patel said, “crosses a line.”

Bobby Eberle, Chairman of the Fort Bend County Republican Party, said the Democratic candidate’s remarks and behavior were “deeply concerning.” He added that “such tactics,” regardless of party affiliation, “should be unequivocally condemned.” Eberle said that it was “not a partisan issue” and that the incident breaks the trust of Fort Bend County residents, who he said “deserve better leadership” than people who manufacture fake “racist attacks” in order to try and turn neighbors against one another “for political gain.”

The story is reminiscent of actor Jussie Smollett, who faked a racist attack against himself in 2019 and filed false police reports.

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