Below is an opinion by: Jim Gillespie
Governor Abbot and Lt. Governor Patrick asked Republicans to refrain from entering into unnecessary primary contests against well-known incumbents. So why has a challenger signed up in the Republican Primary for the position of Galveston County Tax Assessor Collector?
According to various reports and my personal observations, improvements in Tax Office services have been significant under the incumbent Tax Assessor Collector, Cheryl Johnson. She continues to be a dedicated advocate for property owners and is an effective leader over a complex organization that provides service oriented related operations in offices across the county.
This is not just my opinion. Johnson and the County Tax Office was recognized by state and county officials as an exemplary service organization. Of 254 Texas counties, Galveston County has been recognized as one of the top seven performing organizations in the State – a very impressive feat.
The challenger has abandoned all factual arguments and simply chosen to tell voters not to believe their lying eyes. Forget the last time you voted without any issues…ignore the last time you paid your taxes and were promptly served by the staff. Instead, listen to the contrived horror stories told by a challenger who has never worked in a Tax Office or an appraisal district and has no experience providing government services at all.
This is exactly what Governor Abbot and Lt. Governor Patrick wanted to avoid in the Republican Primary – a self-serving political wannabe throwing baseless smears against a successful incumbent causing resources to be needlessly expended defending an otherwise sterling record of accomplishments.
After taking the time to dig a little deeper into the history of the challenger and her husband, I was shocked to find what appears to be the profile of longtime political opportunists with a track record of self-serving actions. Unfortunately, that history is far too extensive with too many sordid details to substantively include in this writing.
Over the course of the primary campaigns, voters should be prepared to hear some whoppers from the Peden’s as they will undoubtedly try to explain a sketchy residency - why they sold their home and appeared to move to Wisconsin; why (when employed as the CFO of Select Asset Management) demands were never made of David Salinas (the Ponzi King of Friendswood) to explain fraudulent financial transactions, and why a government organization (Gulf Coast Authority) has been paying for expensive trips for the Peden’s (including to the Trump inauguration).
Of course explaining these things away will be going on at the same time they try to distract voters with lies about the “broken” Tax Office, etc.
Personally, I’m hoping voters in Galveston County are smart enough to see through the claims of the challenger. Many years ago, an inexperienced political wannabee was briefly in charge of the Tax Office and the results were terrible.
We need to keep Cheryl Johnson right where she is - in charge of the Tax Office.
Sincerely, Jim Gillespie
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