Fort Worth

One of ‘the most hated’ Tarrant Republicans now works to recruit leaders to the party

One of the champions of the unsuccessful effort to oust a Muslim from Tarrant Republican Party leadership now has a new appointment.

James Scott Trimm now serves on the Tarrant County GOP Precinct Chair Recruitment Committee. He was a vocal supporter of the request to remove Shahid Shafi from the post of vice chairman.

“The point of this is to heal the Party,” Tarrant Republican Joel Downs, who heads the committee, posted on Facebook about the new appointment.

“Is there a more certain way to ignite a resolve to mend our Party, and show ourselves that we are honorable winners, than to place and accept one of the most hated men on the Executive Committee in a position of Party service?”

Trimm now will work to recruit GOP leaders in Precinct 2643 in Mansfield.

When asked for a comment about his appointment, Trimm responded: “I voted against Shafi because he was unwilling to publicly support Israel with Jerusalem as the undivided capital and oppose creation of a Palestinian state within the historic borders of Israel” which is a plank in the Texas GOP platform.

“The decision on Shafi has been made and we Republicans now need to work together to keep Tarrant County red.”

This comes after Tarrant County Republican Party leaders voted 139-49 on Jan. 10 to keep Shafi in his appointed post after the issue percolated for more than six months.

There are still hard feelings about the vote among some Republicans and much discussion on social media.

A Rio Grande Valley man is offering a “$500 cash bounty” to anyone who can give him the names of the 49 who voted against Shafi.

Tarrant County Republican Party Chairman Darl Easton has said the party will not publicly release a list showing how precinct chairmen voted on this issue behind closed doors. But precinct chairs may come and review the paper ballots that were cast.

Many, like Shafi, are calling for the party to unite and move forward.

“For God’s sake, those who won, get over your victory, and those who lost, get over your loss,” Pat Williford posted on Facebook. “We are defeating ourselves again.

“Only time will show the hearts of men, and when it does, please don’t say ‘I told you so,’” she wrote. “We fight against powers and principalities. Put on your armor and fight the Democrats.”

This issue first arose about six months ago, after Tarrant County Republican Party Chairman Darl Easton appointed Shafi, a surgeon and Southlake councilman, to the vice chairman post and fellow Republicans approved his proposal.

Opposition from began emerging on social media.

Soon, Dorrie O’Brien, a precinct chairwoman from Grand Prairie, asked for Shafi’s appointment to be reconsidered because he’s Muslim. She and others have long said this is not about religion but whether Shafi is loyal to Islam and Islamic law or connected to Islamic terror groups. She has not responded to recent requests from the Star-Telegram for comment.

O’Brien’s motion was delayed until after the Nov. 6 election, which saw Tarrant County turn blue in the U.S. Senate race. Hours of discussion behind closed doors during a November meeting left the issue unresolved and pushed it to Jan. 10.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.