Tea party continues to make Montgomery County inroads
By Cindy Horswell | March 4, 2014 | Updated: March 4, 2014 10:39pm
Montgomery County voters Tuesday sent tea party Republicans into runoffs in three key commissioner court races, based on final but unofficial election returns. No Democrats filed for any local races.
The fast-growing Houston suburbs have in most instances been dominated in recent elections by Republican candidates, especially Montgomery County, which is possibly the most GOP county in the state.
Alan Sadler, the incumbent county judge who has presided over the county's growth, opened the door to change with his retirement after over two decades or six terms in office. The incumbent precinct 2 commissioner, Craig Doyal, stepped down to run for Sadler's seat, creating another vacancy.
In the race to succeed Sadler, Mark Bosma, endorsed by the county's two major tea party groups, narrowly was the top vote-getter but was headed for the May 27 runoff with Doyal. Further behind was Doris Goleman, the incumbent judge's chief of staff.
Bosma has received attention as the "whistleblower" behind the county attorney's effort to recover nearly $13 million in alleged overcharges on county construction projects.
Precinct 3 Commissioner, James Noack, of The Woodlands was put in office in the last election with Tea Party backing.
In the battle for the precinct 2 slot, Rob Harmon, supported by the Tea Party, also was headed for a runoff with Charlie Riley.
In the seven-candidate race to replace retiring precinct 4 Commissioner Ed Rinehart in New Caney, Jim Clark and Bob Bagley were also headed to a runoff. Bagley was supported by a break-away new tea party group while Clark had the endorsement from the original one.
Fort Bend County
In Fort Bend County in early returns, the incumbent district attorney, John Healey, was ahead of his challenger Dawn Zell Wright in the Republican primary. The winner will face Democrat Wilvin J. Carter.
Incumbent district clerk, Annie Rebecca Elliott, was ahead of challenger Candace Cagle. The winner will face Democrat Michael Antalan in the general election.
Long-time precinct 2 Brazoria County commissioner Matt Sebesta was gaining momentum to capture the Republican nomination in the race to replace retiring county judge, Joe King.
Sebesta, 52, of Angleton, is pitted against T. Burton Gallaher, 45, of Pearland. The victor will face Democratic candidate, Robert Pruett, in November.
Two newcomers were in a close battle to fill the Precinct 2 commissioner seat vacated by Sebesta. Newcomer Ryan Cade had an early lead over the other challenger, Terry Novack. The winner will face Democratic candidate C.B. Robertson III.
For Precinct 4. Republican candidate David Linder was ahead in early voting in the Republican primary against challengers Arthur Velasquez and Bob Ford. The winner will then face Democratic candidate, Alan Kolodny in the general election.
Two incumbent officials appeared headed for the Republican nomination in Galveston County, while a third could be forced into runoff.
With no Democratic contenders for district attorney, the incumbent Jack Roady had a growing lead over challenger Phillip Morris.
The incumbent County judge, Mark Henry, has no Democratic opponent and appeared headed to victory over challenger Michelle Hatmaker.
Incumbent Precinct 2 county commissioner Kevin O'Brien was battling five newcomers who wanted to unseat him. He appeared headed for a runoff with Joe Glusti.