Conroe, December 25 – United States Congressman Kevin Brady, Republican of The Woodlands, is the 2nd most powerful person in Montgomery County, the same position he held in 2016.
The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, continues the tradition of listing the Power Top Ten, the ten most powerful people in Montgomery County. The Power Top Ten doesn’t commemorate the ten best people in Montgomery County necessarily, but the most powerful people who are actually able to accomplish political or policy goals. In other words, they can get things done.
At the end of this month, we’ll also commemorate the “Person of the Year Award” for the Montgomery County person who was responsible in 2017 for the most positive change for our community and the “Mad Cow Award” for the worst elected official in Montgomery County during 2017. If you have suggestions, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We will treat your suggestion in confidence.
To begin the Power Top Ten this year, The Golden Hammer has already named:
#3 District Attorney Brett Ligon
#4 Texas Patriots Tea Party PAC President Dr. Julie Turner
#5 Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador
#6 Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack
#7 Conroe Independent School District Superintendent Don Stockton
#8 Sheriff Rand Henderson
#9 418th District Judge Tracy Gilbert
#10 State Senator Brandon Creighton.
Power Top Ten #2: United States Congressman Kevin Brady
Congressman Kevin Brady is the second most powerful person in Montgomery County at the present time. In 2015, the House Republican Conference elected Brady as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the main tax-writing committee of Congress. With the election of the amazing reformer Donald J. Trump, as 45th President of the United States, Brady had a serious opportunity to make a mark on American history with tax reform. Brady, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch led the Republicans in both houses of Congress to get the job done. President Trump signed the tax reform bill into law three days ago.
Brady’s success comes from two primary talents: (1) he is a heckuva nice person and knows how to get along with large groups of people (such as the House Republican Conference), and (2) he works very, very hard. His voting record in Congress is not particularly perfect. He’s been a steady vote with the Republican Conference and the House Republican leadership every time, which means that he always votes for large spending bills and government bailouts when the Republican leadership expresses its expectation that members vote for those proposals.
Brady’s wonderful personality, his hard work back home in the 8th Congressional District, and the truly amazing constituent services which his District Office provides have helped Brady maintain very strong political popularity despite a moderate voting record. Brady’s voting record has improved substantially in 2017 after he had a bit of an electoral scare during the 2016 Republican Primary Election. Brady’s rating from the American Conservative Union is 96%, from the National Taxpayers Union 79%, and from National Right to Life 100%.
Members of the Republican Conference adore Brady. One member of the House leadership, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, told The Golden Hammer, “Kevin is personally one of the most popular members in the House, because people recognize what a nice person he is and how genuine he always is. I’ve never seen the guy be mean to anyone, even when he’s grilling a liberal Federal Reserve Chair or other government bureaucrat.” It certainly doesn’t hurt Brady that he shares an apartment in Washington, D.C., with three other Congressmen one of whom is Scalise (hinted as possibly becoming the next Speaker of the House if Paul Ryan retires).
Brady, 61, was born and grew up in South Dakota. His first job out of college was as the chamber of commerce executive in Rapid City where he also ran and was elected to the Rapid City Town Council. In 1982, Brady moved to Texas to become the executive of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce. He eventually moved to The Woodlands to become the President (paid staff person) of the South Montgomery County-Woodlands Chamber of Commerce. In 1990, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives. For six years, Brady’s House office and the Chamber of Commerce shared a common inside door, so that Brady could work both positions at the same time. Brady’s two primary staffpeople as a State Representative were Doug Centilli, a brilliant and hard-hitting legislative director and chief of staff, and Janet Qureshi, Brady’s long-time constituent services director. Scalise confirmed that Janet Qureshi is known across the United States as one of the top constituent service directors among them all.
Brady’s close relationship with The Woodlands Corporation and the business community and his great political personality (low key, friendly, hard-working) paid off when he ran for the United States Congress in 1996 to fill the seat of the retiring Jack Fields. Brady defeated the self-financed Dr. Eugene Fontenot in the runoff for the 8th Congressional District in a bruising campaign. Brady lobbied within the House Republican Conference to get the appointment to fill Houston Congressman Bill Archer’s seat on the House Ways & Means Committee when Archer retired from Congress as Chairman of that Committee in 2000.
Brady slowly moved up the ranks of the Republican majority on Ways & Means and eventually also got a seat on the Joint Economic Committee, a committee with little influence but some nice opportunities for media coverage. Brady served as the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee for two years.
Brady was a loyal lieutenant of House Speaker John Boehner and a friend on Ways & Means of Paul Ryan. Brady’s strong friendship with the nationally-popular Ryan has paid off in spades. After Ryan became the Speaker, Brady’s ascension to Ways & Means Chairman was a certainty.
With the election of President Trump, Brady took enormous advantage of the opportunity and pushed for tax reform before the current session of Congress even began. Brady was instrumental in getting tax reform through Congress through behind-the-scenese lobbying of other Republicans to secure their support.
This Top Ten List is for Montgomery County, however, not the State or even the nation. As an effective Congressman, Brady has brought federal dollars into Montgomery County for a long time. He has been particularly effective at bringing federal highway and clean air funds into the community. In recent years, Brady has found great success bringing in veterans and health services funds into this community as well. Pork barrel politics isn’t what it was forty years ago, so even top-level members of Congress are not “cottage industries” likes the days when United States Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia was a billion dollar industry bringing pork barrel projects into his state.
Currently, Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack and Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark have worked closely with Brady to try to bring federal dollars into Montgomery County for flood mitigation and flood control, since the San Jacinto River Authority has so miserably failed to fulfill its core job duty.
Brady maintains his home in The Woodlands. His family lives here. Brady spends four nights a week when Congress is in session in an apartment in Washington, D.C.
As a growing community, and one that pays substantial taxes to the federal government, Montgomery County has great need of a Congressman who can bring those dollars back. That’s Kevin Brady. We should all thank Brady for reducing the amount of taxes we’ll pay, at least until 2027.
Congratulations to Congressman Kevin Brady for making the Top Ten List as #2.