Democrat Candidate Arrested for Fake Hate Mail Scheme

( – A Democratic candidate competing for a Texas precinct commissioner position was arrested for allegedly creating a fake social media account impersonating a supporter of his opponent and sending himself fabricated racist remarks and insults.

Taral Patel, 30, was arrested by Texas Rangers on Wednesday, June 12th, after spending several months impersonating someone else online and sending hateful messages to himself in order to generate sympathy during his campaign. Patel was running for Commissioner of Fort Bend Precinct 3 and competing against incumbent Republican County Commissioner Andy Meyers.

Investigators began looking into Patel in October 2023 after Meyers himself called law enforcement and requested they try to figure out who was sending the messages to his opponent. After some digging, they were able to trace accounts back to Patel, realizing he was using photos of actual Fort Bend residents for the page’s profile picture to make it seem more convincing that the comments were coming from Republican supporters of Meyers.

Patel would send racist remarks to himself and even went as far as to screenshot those messages to share on his main social media pages to garner sympathy and support. The Democratic candidate touted his campaign efforts, claiming to values from “family” and “faith,” including “compassion, hard work, and respect for all,” and said he’s “open to criticism” of his policies. Patel then blamed Meyers’ supporters for hurling “racist, anti-immigrant,” and “Hinduphobic” insults at him, his family, his “faith community,” and his colleagues, which Patel said “crosses a line.” He also blamed former President Donald Trump for the rhetoric in the screenshotted messages accompanying the post.

Fort Bend County GOP Chairman Bobby Eberle called Patel’s alleged behavior “deeply concerning” and said that “such tactics” should be condemned by everyone from both parties. The Republican leader said that Patel’s actions are “not a partisan issue.”

Patel’s story is reminiscent of that of Jussie Smollett, an actor who staged a racist attack on himself and then filed false police reports in 2019. In 2022, Smollett was sentenced to 150 days for the hate crime hoax.

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