Montgomery County, March 7 – In the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election, the citizens of Montgomery County took back their County government, ousted Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport, and sent home a slew of political establishment candidates for other local offices. The citizens of State Representative, District 15, sent a strong message to liberal Austin lobby groups posing as Republicans that they didn’t like the interference with the election of conservative reformer Steve Toth.
Embattled Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley, who along with Doyal and corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport faces a criminal indictment for official misconduct for alleged violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act, just barely received more votes in his Precinct race than reformer Gregory Parker, the conservative former two-term Comal County Commissioner and IT consultant who lives in Conroe.
Ethically-challenged JP James Metts who challenged incumbent Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark received the most votes but will have to face the popular incumbent in runoff.
Corrupt County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport lost by a 1 to 2 margin to challenger Melanie Pryor Bush, currently President of the Conroe ISD Board, who ran on a reform platform.
The candidates who supported substantially reducing County government spending, strong ethics reform, and open and transparent government swept the political establishment County-wide. The citizens sent three strong messages to public servants who serve in the Count government:
- “We expect you to reduce sharply County government spending.”
- “We expect strong ethics reform along with a County government that is open and transparent.”
- “We’ve had enough of the tollroad cronyism and want free roads instead.”
County Judge: State Representative Mark Keough defeated Doyal
State Representative Mark Keough defeated Doyal decisively both in early voting and on Election Day. Keough received 27,134 votes to Doyal’s 19,786, or a 57.83% to 42.17% margin. Keough will face a democrat in the November General Election. Keough’s “Contract with Montgomery County” is a clear statement of the principles under which he’ll lead this community – strong ethics, lower government spending, property tax reform and reduction, an end to outside special interest influence, and salary reform.
State Representative, District 15: Hard-charging Toth defeated liberal-backed Jackie Waters
Hard-charging conservative Toth defeated Republican activist Jackie Waters who made a major misstep in her campaign by taking money and advertising from the liberal Associated Republicans of Texas, the political action committee with strong ties to disgraced Texas House Speaker Joe Straus and the Austin lobby. Toth received 13,044 votes to Waters’ 3,602, 0r 78.36% to 21.64%. Toth will face a democrat in the General Election.
Precinct 2 County Commissioner: Riley and Parker to face each other in May 22 Republican Runoff Election
Former two-term Comal County Commissioner Gregory Parker gave a major scare to Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley. The votes were Riley 6,597, Parker 6,510, and local businessman Brian Dawson 2,056, or 43.51% for Riley, 42.93% for Parker, and 13.56% for Dawson. Riley ran a rather mean-spirited race in which several of his supporters made personal attacks and physical threats against supporters of Parker during the election.
Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack has announced his endorsement of Parker in the Runoff Election, saying, “Greg Parker clearly is the man who will bring the reform we so greatly need in the Precinct 2 office.” Noack had supported Dawson in the Primary Election. Another Dawson supporter, renowned conservative activist, Rachael Manganiello Jones, endorsed Parker in the Runoff Election as well.
Precinct 4 County Commissioner: Metts and Clark to face each other in May 22 Republican Runoff Election
Incumbent County Commissioner Jim Clark received 2,976 votes, or 34.47%, to the 3,455 votes, or 40.02% Metts received. Metts and his supporters had guaranteed repeatedly that the embattled Metts would win the election without a runoff. Clark and Metts will face each other in the May 22 Republican Runoff Election. Obviously, their contest was quite close, as Metts received less than 500 votes more than Clark.
Montgomery County Hospital District Director Bob Bagley ran an amazing race with almost no campaign funds at all. Bagley knocked on the doors of approximately 5,000 homes and enjoyed grassroots support. Bagley received 2,203 votes, or 25.52%.
284th District Court: Bays wins by a landslide
Conroe attorney Kristin Bays won the 284th District Court race by a landslide of 29,348 votes (66.42%) to Jo Ann Linzer who received 14,839 (33.58%). The extremely popular Bays ran on a platform of increasing District Judge oversight of County government finances among other issues.
County Treasurer: Bush defeats Davenport
Melanie Pryor Bush soundly defeated incumbent Montgomery County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport by an almost two-to-one margin, 29,614 votes to 15,213 votes, or 66.06% to 33.94%.
Davenport, a member of the Davenport Ring, the politicians and elected officials who take their direction from corrupt local political boss Marc Davenport, who is also her husband, had stumbled terribly during the last three months of the campaign, particularly in refusing to release her office procedures manual in response to two Texas Open Records Act requests, including one from her opponent. On Friday, March 2, 2018, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered Davenport to turn over the manual for public inspection, although Davenport has still refused to do so.
District Clerk: Melisa Miller defeats Cynthia Jamieson
Reform District Clerk candidate Melisa Miller received the highest percentage of votes among any County-wide candidate and soundly defeated her rival Cynthia Jamieson 32,235 votes (74.88%) to 10,814 votes (25.12%). Miller has substantial experience working in the District Clerk’s Office. Jamieson, who is an employee in the County Office of Emergency Management, made the mistake of forming close ties with the Davenport Ring during the campaign.
Miller will face a candidate from the other party in the November General Election.
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3: Beasley wins easily
Matt Beasley, currently the Chief of Staff to Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack, easily won the Republican nomination for Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace to replace the retiring Judge Edie Connelly. The returns were as follows:
Matt Beasley 9,854 (63.56%)
Dan Zientek 3,350 (21.61%)
Ronnie Yeates 2,300 (14.83%).
Beasley will face a democrat in November.
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4: Dunn wins easily
Houston Police Officer Jason Dunn easily won the Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, race to replace James Metts. Dunn received 4,201 votes (70.44%) to 1,763 votes (29.56%) for Deputy Constable Ronald Willingham.
That Dunn received more than 600 votes over Metts who was running in a much larger geographic area reveals the grave challenges any member of the Davenport Ring now faces when running for office in Montgomery County.