Texas Democratic candidate charged with faking racist comments to himself


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A Texas political candidate has been arrested on charges of sending fake hate messages to himself on social media.

Taral Patel, the Democratic candidate for Fort Bend Precinct 3 Commissioner, was arrested by Texas Rangers and is being charged with Online Impersonation and Misrepresentation of Identity.

Authorities allege that Patel spent months sending a stream of racist and derogatory comments to himself, impersonating a supporter of incumbent Republican Commissioner Andy Meyers.

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PATEL MUGSHOT

Taral Patel is pictured in the above mugshot. (Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office)

According to the arrest record for Patel, the investigation was launched in October 2023 after Meyers requested authorities to look into who was responsible for the vitriolic comment made at Patel.

Patel previously posted a collage of hateful comments ostensibly sent by Meyers supporters, claiming the messages represented a “deep and misguided fear” among the Republican Party.

“As your Democratic candidate for County Commissioner, I am always open to criticism of my policy positions and stances on issues,” Patel said in the September 2023 post on Facebook. “However, when my Republican opponents supporters’ decide to hurl racist, anti-immigrant, Hinduphobic, or otherwise disgusting insults at my family, faith community, colleagues, and me – that crosses a line.”

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Fort Bend County Commissioner W. A. “Andy” Meyers, Precinct 3, participates in the commissioners’ court meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, in Richmond. (Brett Comer/Houston Chronicle via Getty Images)

Law enforcement reported that Patel used an image of a real Fort Bend resident as his profile picture without the individual’s consent.

Fort Bend County Republican Party Chairman Bobby Eberle released a statement reacting to Patel’s arrest, calling the situation “deeply concerning.” 

“Whether Republican or Democrat, such tactics should be unequivocally condemned by all who value integrity and accountability in politics,” Eberle said. “This is not a partisan issue, and the good people of Fort Bend County should be able to trust that when allegations are made, they are sincere.”

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He concluded, “Fort Bend County residents deserve better leadership than someone who will create a fake account and post manufactured racist attacks — attempting to turn neighbor against neighbor — for political gain.”



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