Bunch, Rieser opt not to run for re-election to Woodlands Township Board, as Preserve The Woodlands runs slate

Bunch, Rieser opt not to run for re-election to Woodlands Township Board, as Preserve The Woodlands runs slate

Image: Preserve The Woodlands’ slate of candidate for the Woodlands Township Board of Directors from left to right, Brad Bailey, Linda Nelson, Richard Franks, and Kyle Watson.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

The Woodlands, September 2 – Woodlands Township Chairman Gordy Bunch and Vice Chairman Bruce Rieser opted not to seek re-election to the Township Board of Directors in the November 8, 2022 General Election. Incumbents John Brown and Jason Nelson are seeking re-election, however.

Brown opposed the November, 2021, incorporation referendum, but Bunch, Rieser, and Nelson were instrumental both in the pro-incorporation campaign and in the expenditure of vast sums of tax dollars to effectuate incorporation of The Woodlands as a city. Woodlands Township voters, however, had other ideas and rejected the referendum with almost seventy percent (70%) of the vote.

Under the leadership of Bunch, Rieser, Nelson, and Board member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, the Township Board expended huge amounts of tax dollars to prepare the governmental entity for incorporation. After the Township stopped wasting those funds, Bunch led the Board to reduce taxes for the Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, which will begin October 1, 2022.

Preserve The Woodlands PAC (PTW) announced its own slate of candidates who are anti-incorporation and have committed better to reflect community desires to avoid substantial government expenditures on matters the community overwhelmingly opposes.

For Position 1, Bunch’s current position, PTW candidate Brad Bailey is running against Craig Rickard.

Bailey is a Vice President of S&B Engineers and Constructors, a Texas engineering, procurement, and construction company, and a long-time volunteer with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, including Captain of the HLSR Corporate Development Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of the Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC) of Texas.

Rickard works as a consultant.

In Position 2, PTW candidate Linda Nelson opposes Jason Nelson who is seeking re-election.

Linda Nelson, a 30-year resident of The Woodlands, is a local community and business leader who has worked for Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center for more than 25 years and is a very active member and past Chairman of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jason Nelson is an ordained elder in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  He holds B.A., M.A., M.Ed., and M.Div. degrees from Trinity International University, Trinity Graduate School, Houston Baptist University, and Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.  In the Spring of 2021, Nelson was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his service to the Church, commitment to his community, and contribution to the fields of theological and biblical studies.

Jason Nelson has served several churches under episcopal appointment: Christ United Methodist Church (Sugar Land, TX), The Woodlands United Methodist Church (The Woodlands, TX), and is currently the lead pastor at Rose Hill United Methodist Church (Tomball, TX).

Before entering full-time Christian ministry, Jason Nelson spent seven years in public education as a teacher, Department Head and coach.  During his time in public education, Jason Nelson initiated after school mentoring programs and raised thousands of dollars for local school libraries through For the Kids Golf Classics.

In Position 3, PTW candidate Richard Franks is running against incumbent John Brown.

Brown originally won election as an ally of Bunch and Rieser but ultimately broke with them on the incorporation referendum. Brown has been a resident of The Woodlands since 2010. He has a stepson and a daughter with his wife Bonnie. He has over eight years of Real Estate experience as a licensed realtor. Brown currently serves as the Facilities Manager for Huntsman International at its corporate headquarters in The Woodlands. He graduated with honors from The Art Institute of Philadelphia while obtaining an Associate’s Degree of Science in Web Development, and graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Web Development/Design.

Franks, a retired business leader and combat veteran, has been awarded the Bronze Star, two Army Commendation Medals, First Oak Leaf Cluster, and Cross of Gallantry. He has been a resident of The Woodlands for eight years and owned property here for 16.

In Position 4, Rieser’s current position, Steve Lawrence is running against PTW candidate Kyle Watson.

Watson is an attorney and managing shareholder of The Woodlands Office of Winstead PC, where he has worked for two decades. Watson is a renowned attorney who practices in the field of litigation.

PTW’s Candidate Committee endorsed its four candidates running for the Township Board of Directors and is urging residents to “Vote the Slate” on November 8.

PTW claims that “the Slate” is comprised of four candidates “dedicated to restoring responsibility, accountability, and trust to The Woodlands Township Board of Directors.”

“The four accomplished community leaders on this slate, all of whom opposed the misguided attempt to incorporate the Woodlands, will restore responsive representation to the Township Board of Directors and ensure The Woodlands remains the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Danny Signorelli of Preserve The Woodlands’ Candidate Committee. “As current members of the Township Board have become increasingly detached from the priorities of residents of The Woodlands, it’s time to elect new leaders who will put resident interests first.”

Signorelli went on to say, “In their public, professional, and personal lives, this impressive slate of local leaders have proven themselves to be trustworthy, accountable, and dedicated to ensuring a bright future for The Woodlands,” said Signorelli. “Preserve The Woodlands is proud to endorse their candidacies and looks forward to the experience and credibility they will bring to the Township Board.”

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