Conroe, March 9 – Only the great die young. The Lord took a great friend, husband, leader, and fighter for the citizens of Montgomery County, Jerry Don “JD” Lambright this morning. Lambright was only sixty-nine (69) years and in the absolute prime (only the seventh year) of a wonderful career as the Montgomery County Attorney.
Lambright was born on October 25, 1949, in Pampa, Texas. He joined the Lord on Saturday morning, March 9, 2019, after a fight with cancer and serious complications from the disease.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott will issue a proclamation in approximately one hour – by about 11 a.m. – in tribute to Lambright to lower all flags in government offices to half mast.
JD’s beloved wife, Belinda Cates Lambright, one of the finest and most popular ladies in Montgomery County, survives him. She currently serves as President of the Lake Conroe Area Republican Women and in a host of other charitable and community roles.
JD and Belinda were high school sweethearts and married for 42 years.
JD Lambright, as County Attorney, and friend of the citizens, was responsible for the passage of Montgomery County’s first Code of Ethics, substantial reforms in the County Attorney’s Office, and serious efforts to challenge some of the corrupt practices of former County Judge Craig Doyal and some of Doyal’s henchmen within the Montgomery County government. He once told the Publisher of this newspaper, “I’m proud of the fact that I made the ‘Doyal Hit List,’; that shows I’m having a real positive impact.”
As County Attorney, Lambright reorganized the County Attorney’s Office into the robust law firm type of function which it presently is with the help of his two dynamic assistants, First Assistant County Attorney BD Griffin, and Amy Dunham, the manager of his Governmental Affairs Division. Lambright repeatedly remarked that “I brought in the finest attorneys I could find to represent the people of Montgomery County from within the County Attorney’s Office.”
Griffin issued a statement late Saturday morning:
“With deepest sorrow, I and the staff of the County Attorney’s office announce the passing of JD Lambright, County Attorney of Montgomery County, on Saturday, March 9, 2019. JD had faithfully served Montgomery County as the County Attorney since January 1, 2013. He was a great leader, boss, attorney and friend. His vision, leadership and devotion to justice and doing the right thing will be remembered and his impact upon the community will be long lasting. Arrangements for a Celebration of Life of JD are pending.”
Lambright was a true believer in “open government” and public integrity during his two terms as County Attorney. By reorganizing the County Attorney’s Office, so that the County government would not rely upon outside lawyers, his actions have saved Montgomery County taxpayers millions of dollars.
Lambright never cowered before the Montgomery County Commissioners Court. When they were about to take actions which he believed were unethical, Lambright would speak up during meetings in public view. For example, when Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley tried to place his best friend, former Sheriff Tommy Gage, on the Ethics Committee, Lambright objected and prevented the Commissioners Court from taking that action in March, 2017.
Lambright’s last appearance at a Commissioners Court meeting was a brief visit during the February 12, 2019, meeting, where Lambright looked rather thin and tired. He had obviously suffered harsh problems with his health by that time, as he had robustly spoken to the Commissioners Court as recently as January 29 and had appeared as the first guest on “It’s Hammer Time” in a very highly-viewed show on January 11, 2019.
Outpourings of grief and prayer have already begun from numerous friends of the Lambrights. Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough said,
“The sudden passing of JD Lambright is a great loss for his family, co-workers, and Montgomery County constituents. He was a man of consistency and focus and deeply respected by all. He was a gentlemen and a friend. I will miss him greatly.”
“Being the professional that he was, ever since my entering into public service JD became a friend and trustworthy advisor in all things “ county.” He assembled a highly skilled and professional team that is incredible to work with and because of his legacy, his team, although deeply saddened by his untimely departure, will carry on the great work of Montgomery County.
“Senator Brandon Creighton and I have been in touch with Governor Abbott’s office and have been authorized by the State of Texas to immediately fly our Texas flags at half staff as an expression of our County who mourns his passing.”
As an advocate for conservatives, open government, and ethics, Lambright has been a wonderful friend to this newspaper as well as to conservative activists throughout Montgomery County. Lambright never hesitated to show his support for grassroots conservative activists, the Texas Patriots PAC, the Montgomery County Tea Party, and all of the Republican Women’s organizations in Montgomery Counyt. We all wish our best and send our love to our friends JD and Belinda Lambright. We’re fighting through prayer and good wishes for you.
JD Lambright was elected on November 6, 2012, to serve as Montgomery County Attorney, and was sworn in on January 1, 2013, to succeed the retiring David Walker. The voters re-elected Lambright in 2016. Lambright was every voting precinct in Montgomery County in the 2016 Republican Primary Election where he faced an opponent.
Out of seventeen nominees, Lambright won Montgomery County’s “Boss of the Year Award” in 2014. He was a repeat winner of the honor in 2015.
In addition to his J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) from South Texas College of Law, JD received a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University. Prior to being elected County Attorney, Lambright owned and operated a private law practice for 13 years in Conroe. During that time, he handled a broad variety of civil, family, criminal, and probate cases.
Lambright had worked for Shell Oil Company and Shell E&P Technology Company in Houston as a geophysicist and electrical engineer for 25 years before he went to law school. He had manager operations and research for Shell all over the world, including the continental United States, Alaska, South America, and Southeast Asia. During his last two years at Shell, he was a Business Interface Manager for Shell E&P Technology Company, the research division of Shell Oil Co.
He “re-engineered” himself by graduating from South Texas College of Law in May, 1997, and became a licensed attorney in Texas on November 3, 1998. The Lambrights moved to Montgomery County in 1993 before JD Lambright had retired from Shell.
JD Lambright served three terms on the Board of Directors of the Montgomery County Bar Association and for eleven years as a Director and General Counsel of the Montgomery County Dispute Resolution Center. He was a 2010 graduate and former Board member of Leadership Montgomery County and a 2009 graduate of the Conroe Police Department Citizen Police Academy. Lambright was a member of the Conroe Noon Lions Club where he previously served on the Board of Directors, and he was a Life Member of the Montgomery County Fair Association.
One of Lambright’s proudest accomplishments in his role as County Attorney was the successful murder prosecution for the 1998 murder by burning of Robbie Middleton. Lambright and his team obtained a conviction in Galveston County (after a venue transfer), even though the case was 15 years old when Lambright came into office.
JD Lambright consistently fought for openness and transparency in government. He hated corruption and clearly genuinely felt the citizens of Montgomery County had every right to serve robustly and vigorously at the top of government.
Conservatives, reformers, and all 572,000 of the great people who form Montgomery County will sorely miss our wonderful friend, JD Lambright.