Conroe, March 18 – The March 6, 2018, Republican Primary Election in Montgomery County swept reform conservative Republicans into victory largely thanks to the work of citizens who dedicated their intelligence, time, sweat, and dedication to the cause. The Golden Hammer pays tribute to seven amazing citizen leaders who fought for reform but the reality is that there are so many others who deserve mention. They’re presented in alphabetical order.
Betty Anderson: opinion leader and endorser
For decades now, Shenandoah Republican Precinct Chair Betty Anderson has evaluated candidates running for election and offered her endorsements to a gigantic email list of thousands of Montgomery County citizens who take her recommendations to the voting booth with them. Anderson is the Chair of the Montgomery County Eagle Forum. She spends enormous amounts of her time providing community service to the elderly and others in need. Anderson also has worked as a supportive spouse for her renowned theologian husband Dave’s career.
In every major election, thousands of voters wait to receive Betty Anderson’s recommendations. Oftentimes, voters will ask workers at polling locations if they have a copy of Anderson’s recommendations, because she reliably endorses people whom she sincerely believes are conservatives. Both Betty and Dave Anderson have known Mark and Kim Keough in Christian leadership circles for a long time, so Anderson became a major booster for Keough’s decision to challenge Craig Doyal for Montgomery County Judge.
Anderson endorsed an entire slate of individuals in the election. Almost her entire list won their electoral contests on March 6.
One of the great services Anderson provides before every Republican Primary Election is that she quietly leads what are by far the best candidate forums during every election cycle. Anderson herself rarely speaks or appears during those forums. Instead, she asks other local conservative leaders to act as the moderators. The forums usually have the best interaction between voters and the candidates, because of the outstanding format Anderson has established for them. Craig Doyal made his infamous comment, “you get what you pay for,” during one of Anderson’s Eagle Forum-hosted forums. Similarly, Anderson’s forum for the Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace position provide voters with the best opportunity to see the differences among the candidates, especially when one of the candidates made clear he would perform same-sex marriages.
Anderson is involved and very supportive of many different organizations. By continuing her outstanding services for decades, she has remained a person on whom voters continue to rely and someone whom they very rightly trust for her outstanding judgment.
Jon Bouche: talented force
Oak Ridge insurance agent and realtor Jon Bouche has become a major force in the Montgomery County Republican Party, especially with his election as the Oak Ridge North (Precinct 35) Republican Precinct Chairman on March 6 when he soundly defeated longtime “establishment” moderate Marisa Rummel, who was the incumbent.
Bouche has a great personality which attracts a lot of people to the causes which he supports. He’s also a very talented musician and the lead singer of Johnny and the Spinsations, which regularly performs in numerous local venues.
When Bouche attends a political meeting, it’s bound to be fun. Nevertheless, he’s an ardent conservative who believes in free markets as well as the importance of social issues. Bouche regularly attends most local Tea Party organization meetings as well as events for the Republican Party and conservative candidates.
Bouche worked for a number of candidates, including Keough whom he has known as a pastor for a long time.
Jon Bouche is the perfect person who can attract young and old voters alike to the Republican Party and to the conservative reform movement. Bouche is also Chairman of the Freedom & Liberty Conservatives PAC, which supported a slate of reform candidates on March 6.
Gordy Bunch: The “People’s Chairman” in the Woodlands Township
Gordy Bunch is a highly successful businessman with strong family connections to historical families in Montgomery County. He currently serves as Chairman of the Woodlands Township Board of Directors.
Bunch has strong ties to the Texas Patriots PAC, the largest Tea Party organization in Montgomery County that is also one of the most influential and well-funded Tea Party groups in the entire United States. Bunch has expressed concern that the Montgomery County government is working against the interests of local municipalities, including Conroe and other cities as well as The Woodlands Township (which is not (yet) a municipality). Bunch has been an outspoken advocate for reform of the County government.
Bunch is a quiet behind-the-scenes fighter for the people of The Woodlands and for conservative reform. He wasn’t out front during the 2018 election but he had an enormous impact on Texas Patriot PAC decision making.
Bunch had another gigantic impact on the 2018 election. When it became clear that Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley still plan to proceed with the Woodlands Parkway Extension, even though voters rejected that proposed road extension in a 2015 referendum, Bunch began campaigning fiercely through e-blasts and social media for State Representative Mark Keough, who won the Republican nomination for County Judge, and for former Comal County Commissioer Gregory Parker, who faces the incumbent Precinct 2 Commissioner in a May 22 runoff. Bunch also supported Keough and Parker financially in the Primary Election. Additionally, Bunch worked very hard to help former State Representative Steve Toth win the Texas House seat Keough will leave at the end of 2018.
Bunch is often a quiet worker. But, when Gordy Bunch talks, people listen.
Ginger Russell: The Quiet Lady From Magnolia
Ginger Russell, also known as “The Quiet Lady From Magnolia” or “QLFM,” was a giant force in the election of Mark Keough as the Republican nominee for Montgomery County Judge and in the campaign of Gregory Parker, who will face incumbent Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley in the May 22, 2018, Republican Runoff Election.
Russell fights fiercely for the issues and the candidates in whom she believes. She is a renowned education expert statewide and highly respected in the Texas homeschooling movement.
Russell sometimes seems like she’s everywhere. She attends most Commissioners Court meetings and often lectures County Judge Craig Doyal and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley on ethics, a subject where they could clearly use her guidance. Russell attends the meetings of just about every conservative group and Republican group in Montgomery County. She’s a GOP Precinct Chair from Magnolia, an Election Judge, and a reliable conservative vote on the Montgomery County GOP Executive Committee.
Russell worked the polls during all of early voting for the March 6 Primary Election. Wherever she worked almost had the feel of hand-to-hand combat. The Stuckey family, pro-government spending liberals who support Charlie Riley’s aggressive spending programs, tried to intimidate Russell verbally and even physically during the two weeks of early voting. Russell stood her ground. She fiercely advocated for Parker and created a lot of the excitement among Precinct 2 voters for the former Comal County Commissioner, conservative author, and IT consultant.
Russell is a lightning rod for reform wherever she goes.
Kathleen Towery: District Clerk candidate Melisa Miller’s loudspeaker
When Melisa Miller announced her candidacy for Montgomery County District Clerk in the Republican Primary Election, many conservative activists worried that she was too soft-spoken to run the kind of race necessary to win in Montgomery County. Actually, Miller became an outstanding candidate as well as a poised and strong speaker.
Early in Miller’s candidacy, longtime Conroe community leader Kathleen Towery, who is married to former City of Conroe Public Works Director Dean Towery, made clear that she advocated Miller’s election. Towery is a lady who has earned and carries the respect of Montgomery County voters after her decades of community service. It became clear that Towery both was Miller’s loudspeaker at the beginning of the District Clerk campaign and an important advisor who helped Miller become a strong candidate.
Miller will undoubtedly be a great District Clerk and leader of that important County Department. Towery was behind Miller every step of the electoral way. Towery attended every Miller event, worked the polls for Miller from dusk to dawn each day, and celebrated Miller’s victory on Election Night.
The community should thank Towery for her great work to elect a great reform leader as the next Montgomery County District Clerk.
Dr. Julie Turner: Texas Patriots PAC President
Julie Turner, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, is a co-founder and the President of the Texas Patriots PAC. This election marked an important step for “the PAC.” While many Tea Party groups have lost their luster after the successful election of President Trump, Turner has led the Texas Patriots PAC into developing important methodologies so that it will continue to be one of the most important forces in Montgomery County elections for a long time.
Turner works quietly behind the scenes, although she does run the Texas Patriots PAC meetings during election cycles. She was deeply involved in the PAC’s vetting and selection of candidates for the slate the group endorsed on its Voter Guides which were the dominant Voter Guide upon which voters relied during the Republican Primary Election.
Turner worked to organize the army of poll workers who passed out the Texas Patriots PAC Voter Guide during Early Voting across Montgomery County and she oversaw those efforts.
On Election Day, Turner worked at the Precinct 15 Voting Box, River Plantation. If one wants to see how one person can be a true force in a parking lot on Election Day, spend the day how the “master,” Julie Turner, does it. It’s truly amazing to watch Turner at work.
There’s a good reason this newspaper named Dr. Julie Turner the #3 Most Powerful Person in Montgomery County (behind Brett Ligon, #2, and the citizens, #1). Turner continues to have enormous influence, because of her intellect, wonderfully-positive personality, and incredibly strategic mind.
John Hill Wertz: hard worker, research man
No one develops more information about all the candidates running for office in Montgomery County than John Hill Wertz, who is a Republican Precinct Chairman and the Vetting Committee Chairman for the Montgomery County Tea Party. Wertz spends hundreds of hours researching candidates and leading videotaped Vetting Committee sessions with every candidate who will attend the sessions. The Tea Party group invites statewide candidates to vet with them and some of them come to these interesting sessions.
Wertz is a retired executive who lives in The Woodlands. He’s an avid fan of LSU. He’s a thorn in the side of many government leaders and Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Walter Wilkerson, Jr., because Wertz doesn’t accept “no” for an answer to his inquiries.
Despite his often tough image, in reality Wertz is an extraordinarily kindhearted individual. After Tropical Storm Harvey devastated communities in the area around the Town of Woodloch, Wertz spent thousands of dollars of his own money buying building materials to help them rebuild, worked through his church to raise additional funds, and donated hundreds of hours of his own time to aid in the construction efforts. Wertz is and should be a hero to the people of Woodloch and the adjacent River Oaks community. The truth is that he’s a nice guy.
Wertz’s main service in the March 6 Election was developing the Montgomery County Tea Party’s Voter Guide and the massive amount of information that group made available to voters online. Wertz truly did amazing work in that regard. He also led the effort to raise the funds so that the Tea Party could mail that Voter Guide to 60,000 voters before the March 6 Election.
Wertz is a tireless conservative reform activist as well as a community leader.