Image: Montgomery County Judge candidates Mark Keough (standing, left) and Craig Doyal (sitting, right), January 15, 2018.
Conroe, January 19 – The January 16, 2018, Campaign Finance Reports of Montgomery County Judge candidates Craig Doyal, the incumbent, and Mark Keough, presently serving as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, present starkly different uses of the hard-earned money that people provide. The vast majority of Doyal’s campaign contributions also emanated from outside of Montgomery County, while the vast majority of Keough’s were from inside the County.
Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal
Doyal filed his Campaign Finance Report on January 16, 2018, with Montgomery County Elections Administrator Suzie Harvey. Doyal’s report shows that, as of December 31, 2017, Doyal’s campaign has a paltry $29,363.27 on hand in the bank, an amount barely sufficient to run the most rudimentary of campaigns.
During the six month period from July 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, Doyal only raised $69,291.00 in political contributions, an incredibly low amount of money considering that Doyal is an incumbent County Judge for the 8th largest county in Texas. Even more striking is the fact that of that amount, $39,400 came from contributions outside of Montgomery County, or 56.86%.
All five of Doyal’s largest campaign contributions came from outside of Montgomery County. Hemachandra Prasad Kollaru, a Houston engineer, gave Doyal $5,000. Amethyst Manning, a Houston realtor, gave Doyal $4,775. Orrick Texas PAC, Jim Russ, and Paul Frey, all of Houston, gave $2,500 to Doyal each.
The most striking aspect of Doyal’s Campaign Finance Report, however, came on the expenditure side. Doyal hardly spent any of the $180,416.02 of funds he spent from campaign contributions on campaign expenditures. Doyal paid criminal defense attorney Rusty Hardin $149,806.43 on August 9, 2017. A whopping 83.03% of Doyal’s campaign funds went to criminal defense fees.
It would be grossly unfair to call Doyal “not generous” particularly when it comes to spending other people’s money. Doyal gave a $200 Christmas “gift” to his “chief of staff” jim fredricks on December 23, 2017. He also gave a $100 Christmas “gift” to his secretary Sylvia Olszowy on the same day. That’s very thoughtful of Doyal’s political contributors to give Christmas gifts to Doyal’s County employee office staff.
State Representative Mark Keough, challenging Doyal for Montgomery County Judge
Keough also filed his Campaign Finance Report on January 16, 2018, with Elections Administrator Harvey. Keough’s report shows that, as of December 31, 2017, Keough’s campaign has a robust $92,678.17 on hand in the bank.
During the six month period from July 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017, Keough raised $47,980.68 in political contributions, an healthy amount of money considering that Keough is challenging the incumbent County Judge for the 8th largest county in Texas. One of Keough’s contributors is Bob Smith, who owns and manages an engineering firm. Smith owns property in Montgomery County but recently moved his primary home to Huntsville. For the purpose of this analysis, The Golden Hammer regards and shall treat Smith as a Montgomery County resident, as his heart clearly remains in Montgomery County (the greatest County in the Greatest State in the Greatest Nation on Earth).
Therefore, only 7.6% of Keough’s contributions came from outside of Montgomery County. More positively, one might say that Keough received 92.4% of his political contributions from the citizens of Montgomery County.
All three of Keough’s largest political contributors are from Montgomery County: Charles Schlembach of Montgomery contributed $3,000; Bob Smith of Montgomery and Huntsville contributed $5,000; Eric Yollick of The Woodlands contributed $10,170.18.
During the six month period ending December 31, 2017, Keough spent $77,184.80. The Golden Hammer audited Keough’s expenditures. 97.40% of Keough’s expenditures are directly connected to campaign expenditures.
None of Keough’s campaign expenditures went to pay legal fees. None of Keough’s campaign expenditures went towards criminal legal defense. In fact, The Golden Hammer independent verified that no criminal charges are pending against Keough.
As to Doyal, his campaign fund is really a legal defense fund to which outsiders primarily interest in County contracts or favor have contributed. As to Keough, his campaign fund has supported the payment of campaign expenditures for which Montgomery County citizens have provided the source of money.