Image: Left to right, Melissa Dungan, Misty Odenweller, and Tiffany Nelson, the “Mama Bears,” swept to victory in all three open Conroe ISD Board seats. In this photograph all three candidates appeared on the NewsReal Talks show affiliated with this newspaper and appearing on YouTube and TikTok.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe, November 8 – The three “Mama Bear” candidates, conservatives running as insurgents to reform the Conroe Independent School District (CISD), swept to victory in all three open seats in the November 8, 2022, General Election. Tiffany Nelson won a majority of the vote in a five person race for the Position 1 open seat from which Board member Dale Inman is retiring. Melissa Dungan shocked long time Board member Ray Sanders. Misty Odenweller ran unopposed.
Although the “Mama Bears” will hold three (3) seats out of seven (7) on the CISD Board of Trustees, their presence on the Board will present a stark contrast to the current Board, which merely follows PowerPoint presentations from the school district administration, and then votes as Superintendent Curtis Null and his team instruct them. Nelson, Dungan, and Odenweller have made clear that they will not agree merely to follow the school district’s administration and will demand information far beyond those mere PowerPoint presentations.
Sanders had been a long time fixture on the Board of Trustees. Sanders is a highly respected banker and CISD booster. Nevertheless, Dungan easily bested him, as she is a CISD parent and also an advocate for the school district. Sanders refused to campaign, while Dungan and her two compatriots in the slate worked immensely hard and spent substantial funds to prevail in the election.
Odenweller told The Golden Hammer late Tuesday night, “This was an important election for CISD. We have a district with many good attributes, and caring educators and staff members. But we were at a crossroads. I said over and over to voters, If voters were happy with things in the district, they should vote to stay the course. But if they felt we could do better, vote for change. Our voters overwhelmingly voted for change. I thank our current board that has served our district tirelessly especially Ray Sanders who has been a part of the Board and dedicated his time to the families of CISD for many years. We wish him well in the future. The Mama Bears are honored, eager, and ready to serve our community as your next school board members. I want to thank my family, all who supported us, volunteered, and voted for us. None of this would be possible without you.”
The election of all three “Mama Bear” candidates is a major victory for State Representative Steve Toth, Republican of The Woodlands, who staunchly backed their candidacies.
Woodlands Township Election: Anti-incorporation forces win big
Similarly, early returns for the four open Woodlands Township positions displayed the continuing anti-incorporation, strongly conservative mood of the electorate, which rejected all four pro-incorporation candidates and elected a slate of candidates openly opposing incorporation of The Woodlands as a city government.
Brad Bailey, Linda Nelson, Richard Franks, and Kyle Watson all ran as a slate, enjoying the endorsement of the Preserve The Woodlands PAC. With their election and the presence of the powerful Ann Snyder on the Township Board, the anti-incorporation, pro-taxpayers forces will strongly control the future of the Woodlands Township and its Board.
Two incumbents, Jason Nelson and John Brown, lost their re-election bids.