Conroe, January 20 – After defeating County Purchasing Manager Mark Edward Bosma in the May 27, 2014, Republican Primary Runoff Election, then County Judge-Elect Craig Doyal and some of his top campaign supporters complied a “Hit List” of political enemies, a story confirmed by two county officials and one person from inside Doyal’s campaign. Doyal did not respond to telephone calls and text messages.
Doyal narrowly defeated Bosma in the countywide election. Bosma had received endorsements from the major Tea Party organizations, former County Judge Alan B. Sadler, former County Human Resources Department Director Diane Bass, and other prominent citizens within the community. Doyal enjoyed strong support from his home base in the Magnolia area where he had served as a County Commissioner as well as from engineering and contracting firms that regularly do business with the County government. Doyal’s main campaign team included political consultant Joe Williams, Precinct 2 businessman Brian Dawson, and North Spring civil engineer Bobby Jack Adams, a Vice President of Halff Associates, Inc.
The “Hit List” included the following individuals in alphabetical order:
1) Mark Bosma, County Purchasing Director, and Doyal’s primary opponent, who lost his county job soon after Doyal became County Judge on January 1, 2015;
2) Precinct 2 Constable Gene DeForest;
3) Precinct 3 Constable Ryan Gable;
4) J.D. Lambright, County Attorney, who began to work closely with Doyal after Doyal became County Judge;
5) Brett Ligon, Montgomery County District Attorney;
6) Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack, Doyal’s nemesis on the Commissioners Court;
7) Scott Nichols, County Environmental Health Director;
8) Dodi Shaw, County Human Resources Director;
9) Captain Mike White of the Office of Constable, Precinct 2;
10) Bruce Zenor, Lieutenant, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department; and
11) Darlou Zenor, County Purchasing Director, whom Doyal fired in November, 2016.
Doyal and his political allies made it known that, to the extent possible, the “Hit List” individuals would lose their county jobs and suffer other retribution.
President Richard Nixon created an “Enemies’ List” of his major political opponents which Special White House Counsel Charles Colson compiled and provided to White House Counsel John Dean on September 9, 1971. The list was part of Nixon’s “Political Enemies Project.” Dean wrote in an August 16, 1971, memorandum, “This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Adminstration; stated a bit more bluntly, how can we use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies?” Nixon’s “Enemies’ List” included actor Paul Newman among several others.
Hopefully, Craig Doyal will exercise more restraint than did President Nixon, although Doyal’s recent firing of Purchasing Director Darlou Zenor and his instructions to county employees not to communicate with the public might suggest otherwise.