Outside-of-County contributors, payments to convicted felons dominate Metts campaign finance report

JP James Metts.

New Caney, February 8 – JP James Metts, who is running for Precinct 4 County Commissioner, has allowed outside-of-Montgomery County political contributions to dominate his campaign. Metts’ Campaign Finance Report, which he filed on February 5, 2018, shows that $7,000 of $8,000 in contributions to Metts’ campaign came from individuals who do not even live in Montgomery County.

The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, had long advocated that it’s time for Montgomery County as a whole to stop treating East Montgomery County, Commissioner’s Precinct 4, like a “poor stepsister.” Please see “Time Is Long Overdue For Montgomery County To Stop Treating East Montgomery County Like The Poor Stepsister, As It’s Not Poor But A Vibrantly Growing Community,” The Golden Hammer, August 6, 2017. The influence on Metts’ campaign, however, of outside influences is, therefore, particularly troublesome.

The time is long overdue for Montgomery County, especially the County Judge (Craig Doyal) and the Commissioners Court, to stop treating East Montgomery County like a distant land. East Montgomery County is rapidly growing into one of the most vibrant areas of Montgomery County with commercial development, residential growth, a growing medical center, and a burgeoning arts and entertainment community.

In recent years, East County has attracted a number of new real estate developments that have brought in substantial residential and commercial growth in this community. Among those, Friendswood Development is developing the Tavola New Home Community, a 1,560 acre wooded subdivision near New Caney. Meanwhile, The Signorelli Company is developing Valley Ranch, near Porter, which includes a large residential area, a commercial Town Center, several entertainment venues, and a rapidly growing medical center.

During the first twenty-five days of January, 2018, the reporting period, Metts received two campaign contributions from outside of this area. Eric Johnson of Austin gave Metts $5,000, while Mark Heidaker of Katy gave him $2,000.  Four other individuals from Montgomery County gave Metts the remainder of his contributions during the reporting period.

Metts reported $5,388.08 in political expenditures during the 25 day reporting period. Of that amount, Metts paid convicted felons $3,000.00, or more than one-half of his total political expenditures. Metts has a number of convicted felons who are among his closest political associations, including a 2-time convicted felon drug dealer, two felons who went to federal prison for wire fraud, and an individual with multiple felony and misdemeanor theft convictions.

Metts reported that he maintained $4,321.21 in funds in his campaign bank account as of January 25, 2018.

Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark maintained $36,161.91 in campaign funds in his campaign bank account on January 25, or more than eight times the amount of funds in Metts’ account.

The election will occur on March 6, 2018. Clark, Metts, and Montgomery County Hospital District Board member Bob Bagley are seeking the Republican nomination. Early voting will begin on February 20.

 




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