Image: JP James Metts (right) had his plans all worked out with Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal (not shown), Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley (center), and others, until the citizens of East Montgomery County interfered in his plans by sticking up for themselves in the March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election.
New Caney, May 6 – James Metts had it all planned out. Everything was set for his future. He and his political boss, Marc Davenport, had made all of the arrangements. Unfortunately, then some people interfered with the plans. Those people were the voters of East Montgomery County who had different ideas in mind.
Over the past four days, two individuals high in Metts’ campaign for Precinct 4 County Commissioner, spoke with The Golden Hammer on the condition of anonymity and confirmed that Metts has lost much of his interest in his campaign to become a County Commissioner since March 6. One other person who is not formally affiliated with the Metts campaign, but interacts with Metts regularly, confirmed the facts in this story.
Metts didn’t respond to telephone calls asking for comment.
64-year-old Metts had great plans. He rarely works in his job as a JP and only shows up at the court a fews hours per week. The court docket just sits untouched and has since approximately November.
Metts has planned to challenge incumbent Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark for several years. After Clark refused to hired political consultant Marc Davenport and become a member of the Davenport Ring, Metts and Davenport knew that Clark had to go. Clark has also refused to cooperate with them on their scheme to advance Phonoscope’s fiber optic cable installations in East Montgomery County, so the incumbent Commissioner has become a downright impediment to Metts and his political boss.
Metts is bored with the JP job. He spends almost all of his time in his logging business which his son, Jaime Metts, helps him to operate. Metts has a lucrative contract with the Texas Department of Transportation to provide the logging and clearing services for the TX 249 Tollway, so Metts, of course, has refused to sign an “anti-tollroad pledge” which the incumbent, Clark, has signed. Metts also helps his County government employee girlfriend, Diane Rogers, run their flower shop and restaurant, Sweetie Pie’s, in Splendora.
At the age of 64, Metts doesn’t want to be a County Commissioner, but he certainly looks forward to the business opportunities that position will provide to him and his son.
So Metts had discussed with Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal the idea that Metts would get elected as Precinct 4 County Commissioner, serve about half of the term, and then quit. Doyal, as County Judge, would then have the statutory authority to appoint Metts’ successor. Doyal would appoint Metts’ son, Jaime, to be the new County Commissioner to follow in the footsteps of his father.
With the political backing of Precinct 4 Constable Rowdy Hayden, Metts knew he’d win the March 6 Republican Primary Election without the necessity of a runoff against his two slacker (in his mind) opponents, Clark and Precinct 4 Montgomery County Hospital District Board member Bob Bagley.
How it all got messed up
The citizens of East Montgomery County messed everything up. The March 6 Republican Primary Election didn’t go the way Metts had planned at all.
First, Metts failed to win the Primary Election outright with more than 50% of the vote. The Metts-Hayden political “machine” barely got Metts 40% of the vote. Instead, Metts now faces incumbent Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark in the May 22 Republican Runoff Election.
Clark has a strong campaign team and many volunteers working for his campaign. The third candidate, Bagley, who was in the March 6 election, has endorsed Clark and urged his supporters to get out to vote for Clark and against Metts.
Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, Doyal messed up Metts’ plan to serve a couple of years and quit so that Doyal could appoint Metts’ son to succeed him as County Commissioner. Doyal messed up those plans by losing in a landslide election to State Representative Mark Keough, a reform-minded conservative who ran on a platform of cleaning up the corruption and wasteful spending in the Montgomery County government. Keough, known for his ethics and propriety, is most certainly the wrong person on whom Metts could count for a guaranteed appointment of his son as his successor if Metts were to resign after a couple of years as the County Commissioner.
Therefore, Metts is not particularly excited about his “Metts 2018” campaign any longer. The JP doesn’t relish the idea of serving a complete term as a County Commissioner, a job which would actually necessitate that he work in a County government job. There’s no certainty that Metts will be able to look forward to holding the County Commissioner seat in his family for the long-term.
It just doesn’t look that good – or that appealing – for James Metts.