Image: After lame duck, extremely defensive Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal ordered the removal and arrest of Montgomery County Republican Party Vice Chairman Reagan Reed (then a GOP Precinct Chairman) from the April 24, 2018, Commissioners Courtroom, because Doyal feared Reed would speak against his beloved boondoggle, the $85 million TX 249 Tollway, also known as the Decimation of Hope Highway, a Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant followed Doyal’s illegal order and removed and arrested Person of the Year 2018 Reagan Reed.
Conroe, December 30 – Reagan Reed is the Person of the Year 2018. Not only did he accomplish some amazing feats this year but also he represents three major trends and occurrences which largely define 2018.
Positive change has begun to come to Montgomery County, despite some setbacks on the Commissioners Court, during 2018. Reagan Reed, the 22-year-old Vice Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party, Republican Precinct Chairman, and Empower Texans Correspondent has been central to all of them and very much represents the developments.
Reed has shown leadership and erudition uncharacteristic of someone his age. A recent college graduate whose parents homeschooled him during his preparatory years, Reed has an understanding of history, politics, and state affairs that is far beyond the level of people who have spent their entire lives in political careers. Wisdom and personal restraint are also two of Reed’s strongest characteristics.
When difficult situations arise, such as the numerous occasions when Republican Chairman Wally Wilkerson has violated the law, ignored Party Bylaws, and intentionally skirted parliamentary procedure, Reed has handled those situations with the maturity and care which Wilkerson apparently never developed during his 88 years.
Reed has always acted thoughtfully, respectfully, and courteously towards others, even when they’ve treated him with malice.
A primary example of Reed’s wisdom occurred on April 24, 2018, during a Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting. Reed had arranged to make a citizen comment under lame duck County Judge Craig Doyal’s ever-changing procedural rules. When Reed rose to speak at the podium, Doyal lost emotional control, expressed his anger, threatened Reed, and then directed a Sheriff’s Sergeant wrongfully to remove and arrest Reed for Reed’s daring to express his First Amendment right to criticize Doyal’s beloved Decimation of Hope Highway tollway project.
Even after that incident, Reed spoke courteously towards Doyal and responded to his illegal arrest with a maturity Doyal has never displayed.
Three major trends and occurrences in Montgomery County during 2018
Trend/Occurrence #1: Citizen activism and the move towards Reform. Citizen activism, which began to increase enormously during 2017, was an even greater factor during 2018, during the March 6 Republican Primary Election and the November 6 General Election.
County Judge Doyal, who lost his re-election in a landslide to State Representative Mark Keough, was focused almost entirely on funneling money to his favorite County vendors who had contributed to his and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley’s criminal legal defense fund. Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack, who sometimes appears to have conservative tendencies, focused his energy on getting a salary increase during the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget deliberations in the Commissioners Court.
The citizens, however, didn’t look to Doyal, Riley, or Noack for leadership. Instead, they took matters into their own hands.
Reform candidates won most of the major contested races in the Republican Primary Election – County Judge (Keough), County Treasurer (Bush), District Clerk (Miller), State Representative District 15 (Toth), and Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace (Beasley) – while elected servants who should have stood on principles instead decided to stand on the sidelines. Citizens organized the reform candidate campaigns, provided telephone banks, set strategies, funded campaign mailers, and largely changed the outcome of the Republican Primary Election. Even in Precinct 2, where Commissioner Charlie Riley, has a core of Magnolia ISD administrators and teachers as well as strong support from the City of Magnolia, a poorly-funded insurgent conservative reform candidate, Greg Parker, almost beat Riley in the Primary.
Reed worked for several candidates as a volunteer during the Primary Election. He was an outspoken leader on issues, such as tollroads and the need for reduced government spending, throughout the Primary Election cycle. Reed serves on the Board of Directors of the Freedom & Liberty Conservatives PAC, a group which explicitly supports reform of the Montgomery County government and an end to the rampant corruption therein.
Citizens had a gigantic impact on the contested Primary races.
Trend/Occurrence #2: Conservatives became the majority in the Montgomery County Republican Party while County GOP Chairman Wally Wilkerson completely melted down.
In the course of the Republican Primary Election, Reed, Woodlands Precinct Chairman John Hill Wertz, Shenandoah Precinct Chair Betty Anderson, and Magnolia Precinct Chair Allison Winter led a much larger team of people who recruited and worked for conservative activists to win Republican Precinct Chair elections during the March 6, 2018, Primary Election. They had been working towards success for several years.
They finally succeeded.
When the June 26, 2018, organizational meeting of the Montgomery County Republican Party’s (MCRP) County Executive Committee (CEC) took place, as the Texas Election Code mandates, left-leaning GOP Chairman Wally Wilkerson faced a major problem. The Election Code and the State Party Rules required the CEC to adopt new Party Bylaws to govern during the next two years.
Wilkerson has run the MCRP with an iron-fist for 54 years and has purposefully excluded conservatives and anyone who openly supports the Republican Party Platform from leadership positions. Wilkerson is pro-abortion, pro-universal-healthcare, and pro-Big-Government, and he certainly didn’t want individuals to get in the way of his policy agenda. Wilkerson’s failure to hold Republican elected servants to the positions on which they won election in the GOP Platform is certainly one of the reasons Montgomery County’s government has a reputation as “the most corrupt in Texas.”
The conservatives were ready, organized, and smart about the June 26 organizational meeting. Wilkerson just believed he could strong-arm his way through to begin another two years where he would make every decision in the Party with little or no input from the Republican Precinct Chairs and the voters who elected them.
That all fell apart when Reed, Wertz, and several other Precinct Chairs successfully moved for the adoption of new Bylaws, which passed and which dispersed the authority of the Party among the Precinct Chairs. During the June 26 meeting, Wilkerson presided over the adoption of the new Bylaws, even though he attempted to argue the Party should remain as it was in 1979 before the election of President Ronald Reagan, and over the election of Reed as the GOP Vice Chairman, Wertz as Treasurer, and a group of conservatives in other major positions.
While Wilkerson and his appointed Parliamentarian blessed the outcome of the votes during the June 26 meeting, a few days later Wilkerson, after urging from Riley and from a small group of his supposed allies (who are really people merely taking advantage of an 88-year-old man), changed his tune and took the position that the CEC had not adopted the Bylaws, the Montgomery County Republican Party is not a part of the Republican Party, that no officer elections occurred, that Wilkerson had no duty to turn the Party’s bank accounts over to the Treasurer, and that the Texas Election Code does not apply to Wilkerson or to the organization – whatever it is – over which he claims to preside.
By October 8, 2018, the State Republican Executive Committee had voted 64 to 0 to declare the new Bylaws valid. That vote even included Judy Parada, a State Republican Executive Committewoman married to Charlie Parada, Wilkerson’s most temperamental ally. More significantly, the Republican Party of Texas’s Officials Committee issued a written ruling that Wilkerson had acted with the “intention to disgrace the Republican Party.”
Wilkerson has decided to continue to ignore the law, the Republican Party, and Reed.
Trend/Occurrence #3: Reed and the newly-constituted Montgomery County Republican Party beat the statewide trends and lead a sweeping victory in the November 6 General Election
Reed and the MCRP Steering Committee, as well as the CEC, appointed a Victory 2018 Steering Committee to set the strategy and lead the Party’s November 6 General Election campaign, especially since Wilkerson made clear he would sit on his hands and do nothing other than raise some money to pay for his office overhead.
That Wilkerson got out of the way seemed a major-plus for the Republican Party. Wilkerson has never known how to run a General Election campaign.
Reed is quite a different story as is Kelli Cook, the conservative political activist who acted as Treasurer for the Victory 2018 Steering Committee PAC. Reed, Cook, and Victory 2018 Steering Committee Chairman Dale Inman agreed on a positive theme for the General Election campaign – “The Republican Party is the Party of Reform” – and set a strategy to get the message to voters to ensure they would turn out to vote.
For the first time in 54 years, the MCRP’s General Election campaign consisted of a carefully conceived and perfectly implemented operation involving phone banking, mailers, Party signs urging voters to vote straight Republican, and an army of door-to-door campaign volunteers.
Unlike other suburban counties, such as Collin, Denton, Hays, Williamson, and Fort Bend, where democrats made significant inroads among the electorate, the MCRP, under Reed’s leadership, produced higher Primary Election turnout in a mid-term election than any in history and successfully convinced 75% of Montgomery County voters to vote Republican.
Montgomery County stands as a shining example of how the Republican Party can provide powerful and positive leadership, even in the circumstance where the County GOP Chairman threw and fit and refused to show any leadership whatsoever.
2018 was very much the Year of Reagan Reed and of the conservative activists he led in so many ways.