Supporters of crackdowns against illegal immigration in Irving and Farmers Branch are leading in their races for political office.
Farmers Branch City Councilman Tim O’Hare, 38, the champion of an effort to ban illegal immigrants from renting apartments in his city, is leading the mayoral race with 68 percent of the vote with five of 19 precincts reporting. His opponent, Gene Bledsoe, has 32 percent of the vote. Bledsoe said the city is spending too much money legally defending a rental ban doomed to be struck down in the courts.
Irving Mayor Herbert Gears, 45, whose reelection campaign included support for the city’s Criminal Alien Program, is leading with 53 percent percent of the early vote. CAP refers suspected illegal immigrants in the city’s jail to federal immigration officials and has resulted in the deportation of more than 2,700 people since it started in September 2006.
Gears' opponents Roland Jeter, who advocated a tougher crackdown, has 38 percent of the vote; Rigo Reza, who supported easing the crackdown, has 8 percent of the vote.