Conroe, November 21 – Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner candidates Brian Dawson and Gregory Parker had some strong words for each other at the packed meeting of the Montgomery County Tea Party on Monday, November 20, 2017. Meanwhile, embattled incumbent Commissioner Charlie Riley was nowhere to be seen at the meeting of many leading conservatives from his Commissioners Precinct.
Dawson challenges Parker
Dawson, a longtime Republican activist and local businessman, began his remarks defensively by telling the crowd that he disagreed with individuals who “use conjecture that I supported the Woodlands Parkway Extension.” Dawson admitted that he questioned some of the numbers put forward by opponents of the Woodlands Parkway Extension during the May 2015 road bond referendum, which voters soundly defeated, but he claims that he did not support that road project.
Dawson told the group, “There’s a problem in this community that there are not enough of us holding people accountable for their actions and their words.” Dawson then turned to Parker who was standing at the back of the room and challenged his electoral opponent directly, “Did you support it [the Woodlands Parkway Extension] or oppose it?” When Parker did not respond, Dawson added, “See…he hides from his record.”
Dawson also accused both of his opponents, Parker and Riley, of having a “consistent record of liberal tax and spend policies.” He further explained, “This isn’t just 3 or 4 votes.” Dawson referred to Riley’s terribly pro-spending and pro-taxation record as a County Commissioner and a Board member of the Montgomery Central Appraisal District, which has become one of the primary engines Riley, County Judge Craig Doyal, and others use to raise taxes while the County government hides behind its claim that the tax rate per $100 valuation has remained the same. He also referred to Parker’s two terms as a Republican County Commissioner in Comal County (the New Braunfels area) from 2005 to 2013.
“His [Parker’s] votes are documented clearly. These are not my words and my editorialization,” Dawson said, referring to his anti-Parker website, www.gregoryparker.net. Please see “Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner’s Electoral Contest Starts to Get Dirty,” The Golden Hammer, November 17, 2017.
Dawson concluded his remarks, “We have challenges in this county. We won’t address those problems by replacing one tax and spend liberal with another. We won’t get spending under control with someone who has the same record as the current incumbent.”
Parker challenges Dawson
Parker responded with strong words about the Montgomery County government and lumped Dawson in with the “political establishment.” He told the Tea Party group, “Both my opponents are so establishment that they supported Craig Doyal for County Judge as part of the fake tea party. One [Dawson] was actually the campaign manager for Craig Doyal.”
Parker referred to the Texas Conservative Tea Party Coalition, the organization which Conroe politician and now City Councilman Duane Ham formed to combat the Texas Tea Party Patriots PAC’s influence during the 2014 Republican Runoff Election between Doyal and the far more conservative Mark Bosma. Ham’s group endorsed Doyal and created enough voter confusion at the polls that Doyal was able to eek out a slim victory over Bosma who had garnered more votes in the Republican Primary Election two months earlier. Dawson later served as President of the Texas Conservative Tea Party Coalition.
“What ever is put up about me doesn’t make any difference,” Parker said, referring to Dawson’s website about Parker. “I’ll try to take the high road because we deserve something better in Precinct 2. We deserve a Commissioner who wants to make a change and knows how to make that change.”
Parker defended his record as a Comal County Commissioner and pointed out that tax rates were lower when he left office after eight years than when he had begun to serve. “We need a lower tax rate, need to cut County salaries which are ridiculously high,” Parker said. “I’m certified in emergency management and Governor Rick Perry appointed me as a flood plain administrator.”
Parker has consistently complained about conflicts of interest in the present Montgomery County government. “I’m not part of the good ol’ boy system,” Parker concluded.
The Dawson and Parker speeches were the highlight of the candidate speeches. 284th District Court candidate Kristin Bays delivered a stirring talk about the history of Thanksgiving as a national unifying force in times of strife.
Other candidates who spoke included:
- Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace candidate Matt Beasley
- District Clerk candidate Cynthia Jamieson
- Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace candidate Dan Zientek
- Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace candidate Ronnie Yeates, II
- State Representative, District 15, candidate Steve Toth
- Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jim Clark
- Precinct 4 County Commissioner candidate and Montgomery County Hospital District board member Bob Bagley.