Grassroots conservatives continue to make significant inroads in Montgomery County, with the results from the May 5 elections building upon the reform movement’s success in the March primary.
In the City of Montgomery, conservative Place 2 Councilman John Champagne defeated an establishment challenger, former mayor John Fox, 60.68% to 39.32%. Sara Countryman unseated incumbent mayor Kirk Jones in an upset. Place 4 incumbent Rebecca Huss defeated conservative challenger Jennifer Anthony however.
Conservatives picked up another win with the re-election of Shenandoah Mayor Ritch Wheeler. Wheeler had the endorsement of several local conservatives, including State Representative HD-15 Republican nominee Steve Toth and Precinct 3 County Commissioner James Noack. He handily defeated an establishment-backed challenger, former councilman Gary Henson, 66.79% to 33.21%.
Voters in East Montgomery County defeated a tax hike. Emergency Services District 7 had a proposition on the ballot asking voters for a 0.5% tax sales tax increase. The proposition had actually been approved in 2015, however, incorrect wording caused the results to be invalid. The fact that voters rejected the proposition 56.67% to 43.33% three years later is another indicator that the electoral tides are changing in Montgomery County.
In the City of Oak Ridge North, Mayor Jim Kuykendall, who is aligned with the establishment, and his ally on city council Alex Jones, defeated two pro-reform political newcomers.
However, it is widely rumored that Kuykendall will face a serious tea party-backed challenge in 2020 from newly elected Precinct Chairman John Bouche. Bouche is a well connected and popular tea party leader who has a sizeable following in the small city.
In the City of Conroe’s municipal elections, Jody Czajkoski sailed to victory in open Place 5 race. Raymond McDonald, who received 48.25% and Annie Jefferson Burnett, who received 34.09%, will head to a runoff for the open Place 4 seat. Mark Frank finished third with 17.66%.
The overall results from the May 5 elections indicate that the reform movement is continuing to make progress in Montgomery County and will have considerable momentum going into the May 22 runoffs.