Image: State Representative Mark Keough (R-The Woodlands) spoke to a jam-packed audience of The Woodlands Area Republican Women on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Keough is running for Montgomery County Judge in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election.
The Woodlands, September 14 – State Representative Mark Keough, Republican of The Woodlands, told a packed room of conservative political activists at The Woodlands Area Republican Women on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, “When we step out into areas like toll roads…it’s a bit different. That’s not the purpose of government.” Keough criticized County Judge Craig Doyal’s and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley’s plan to toll a 3.6 mile of road at the far southwest edge of Montgomery County with the plan to toll it in perpetuity so that the County may reap “profits” from the toll taxes: “I do not believe it’s the place of our particular government to have an organization where we’re projecting ‘let’s do this and we’ll have income down the road that will pay for other projects.'”
Keough explained to the Republican group that he went down to meet with representatives of the Texas Department of Transportation who assured him the state would build the road even if Montgomery County did not risk local taxpayer resources on the project. County Judge Craig Doyal lied to the Texas Transportation Commission on June 27, 2017, in Austin by telling the appointed officials that Montgomery County was “unified in support” behind making the Tx-249 extension a toll road in Montgomery County.
The effect of tolling the Montgomery County portion of the Tx-249 Tollway will be that Montgomery County will be the only portion of the so-called “Aggie Expressway” north of Harris County which will have to bear tolls. Grimes County officials vehemently opposed tolling any portion of the Tx-249 extension in that community, because citizens, like in Montgomery County, opposed such tolls.
Keough explained that “As a pastor and a Christian, I operate in a fixed theological perspective. Government is ordained by God. We pledge our allegiance to the flag as one nation under God and to the state as one under God. But the purpose of government is only to reward good, protect citizens from evil, and create an environment where citizens can use their God-given gifts to move themselves ahead in life.”
Keough did not campaign for County Judge in the luncheon speech which focused on a report to the group about the 85th Texas Legislative Session. He did mentioned, when asked, he would address his platform and other County issues at his October 3 fundraised in his campaign for Montgomery County Judge. Keough’s legislative update, however, obviously moved the audience.
“I believe that I can do a greater job for my County by being here and implementing change on a daily basis,” Keough told the Republicans. “I love Montgomery County. We have such an awesome county, the home of the Texas Flag.”
The state representative mentioned that most of the calls in his state legislative office concerned property taxes and water issues. Property tax reform was a major legislative agenda item for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Governor Greg Abbott. Liberal Republican Speaker of the House Joe Straus killed the property tax reform legislation in the Texas House of Representatives.
Keough, Senator Brandon Creighton, and other members of the Montgomery County delegation to the Texas Legislature did get legislation passed which shifted the Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District to an elected board from an appointed one. The governor signed the water reform bill into law.
“Are Texans awesome or what?” Keough asked the group. The crowd clearly believed that Keough was an awesome Texan among them.