Image: Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack intends to run against Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough for County Judge in the March 1, 2022, Republican Primary Election. Mack won’t officially announce until December.
The Golden Hammer Staff Reports
Conroe and Montgomery, February 24 – Precinct 1 Montgomery County Justice of the Peace Wayne Mack intends to run against Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough for County Judge in the March 1, 2022, Republican Primary Election. Judge Mack won’t officially declare his candidacy, however, until December, 2021, so that he will not have to resign to run under Texas law.
Judge Mack is a very popular and highly-accomplished Justice of the Peace whose territory covers Montgomery, Willis, and the northern part of Montgomery County. He became a Justice of the Peace in 2014 and had worked his way up through the County government after he had begun work as a County janitor.
Judge Mack’s personal accomplishments, the narrative of his life, and his political fundraising ability make him a formidable candidate for Montgomery County Judge.
The Golden Hammer has confirmed Mack’s intent to run through several confidential sources, including two sitting Justices of the Peace and one County employee who works in Mack’s office, but all of whom requested anonymity.
When Judge Mack spoke with The Golden Hammer yesterday, in response to the question, “Judge Mack, are you running for Montgomery County Judge,” he said, “No comment. By law, I can’t answer you question.”
Mack has privately expressed unhappiness with Keough’s decisions in March, 2020, in panicked response to the China Virus to lockdown Montgomery County and close numerous businesses while allowing others to remain open. This newspaper has written numerous articles about how Keough’s unilateral decisions were unconstitutional both because Keough had no legal authority under any Texas statute to impose the lockdowns and also because they violated the Separation of Powers Doctrine under the Texas Constitution and the United States Constitution. Local law enforcement officials, particularly Montgomery County Sheriff Rand Henderson and Precinct 2 Constable Gene DeForest, refused to enforce Keough’s lockdown and business closure orders.
Numerous associates of Mack have also told this newspaper that he is appalled at Keough’s closed government policies and with the expansion of the County government’s emergency management department recently renamed the “Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.”
Mack was born in Superior, Wisconsin in 1964. His parents still live there. Judge Mack remains very close to his 91-year-old father and his 78-year-old mother. His parents are hardworking people who don’t have a lot of formal education. His father held two jobs, one at a grain elevator and the other at a creosote plant, at the same time through most of his adult life. Mack lived at home until he went to college in Jackson, Mississippi, for a year. His father lost his job while Mack was in college, so he returned home to help work and support his family.
In September, 1985, Mack moved to Conroe to work in an unpaid internship position in the youth department of a local church. As a janitor, Mack did floor maintenance primarily in the Montgomery County Courthouse and then in the County administration building that had previously been the local hospital. Fairly quickly, Mack became the night-time floor crew leader.
He left Montgomery County to work full-time on the staff of a church located outside of Texas in a place often referred to as “Louisiana.” Mack was gone from 1989 to 1992 but returned when County Maintenance Director David Garner offered him a foreman position.
Mack worked as a janitor, custodial crew leader, and foreman until 1995.
Mack stressed that, while he realized he was a janitor, he heeded his father’s words and acted as a custodial professional. In 1995, the County split the Building Maintenance Department into two different departments. The Building Maintenance Department focused solely on construction and repairs, while the Custodial Maintenance Department did cleaning and maintenance of all County facilities.
Mack became the first Director of Montgomery County’s Custodial Maintenance Department. His first act as the Director was to purchase a banner that he hung in the Department’s warehouse that said, “We’re Not Just Janitors, We’re Professionals.” Mack sought to change the culture of his Department so that the employees would feel they were part of a business operation. Mack served in that position for 19 years.
While Mack was the Custodial Maintenance Director, he found law enforcement as a hobby he enjoyed. Mack graduated from the Police Academy and worked as a reserve Deputy Constable for four years and as a reserve police officer in the Conroe Police Department for 10 years.
In 2000, Mack became the Precinct Chair of Republican Precinct 44. Precinct 44, where Mack still lives, is the southeast corner of the north part of Conroe near Highway 75 and League Line Road. Mack remained the Precinct 44 Chair until 2014.
Mack has been a long time member of the Conroe Noon Lions Club. He has 20-and-a-half years of “perfect attendance” (members have ways of making up for meetings they miss while still maintaining that record). Many of his friends in the Lions had encouraged Mack to run for public office for a long time.
In the autumn of 2008, Judge Mack’s life seemed particularly good. He was engaged to the love of his life, Mindy Nuber. He loved his job and living in Montgomery County. He went to the doctor for a kidney stone, as Judge Mack has suffered with kidney stone problems most of his life. The doctor observed that his lymph nodes seemed enlarged. He recounts that, on the day that Barack Obama was elected in November 2008, Mack was working as an election judge and found out he needed to schedule a biopsy.
On December 17, 2008, his physician told him that he suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, that a remission was unlikely, and that the prognosis did not look good. Mack responded to his doctor “I will fight until I hear from Dr. Jesus.” Mack believes that his feeling came from his faith in God. Mack received two courses of chemotherapy in a clinical trial at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center with a drug named Zevalin. Mack responded extremely well to the treatment. in August, 2013, Mack’s MDACC physicians declared him “cured,” “cancer-free,” and in remission. Mack changed his lifestyle, began to work out, and avoided processed foods. He explains that “I took a holistic view different from western medicine that treats the symptoms but not necessarily the disease.”
Mindy Nuber Mack told him that she wanted to go forward with their wedding plans in 2008 despite the cancer diagnosis. They got married while Mack was going through chemotherapy. Mack has two children, Austin, 23, who was medically discharged from the United States Army, and Amber, 28, whose husband is a Petty Officer in the United States Navy.
In 2014, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Lanny Moriarty suffered from some serious health problems. He and many friends encouraged Mack to run for Moriarty’s position. Mack had decided a few years earlier that he wanted to be a Justice of the Peace, because the job offered so many opportunities to help people.
Mack won the 2014 Republican Primary Election without a runoff. Moriarty retired immediately after the election. Mack was sworn in on May 1, 2014.