Local candidates start primary campaigns

Montgomery County candidates are vying for voter support for the March 1 primary election.

Political candidates throughout the county were required to file for candidacy with their respective political parties by Dec. 14.

Contested primary election positions include U.S. representative District 8, three district judge seats, sheriff, four constable seats, county attorney and Montgomery County Precinct 3 commissioner.

Primary candidates

Several forums have been hosted throughout the county in recent weeks. A majority of candidates participated in a political forum hosted by the Texas Conservative Tea Party Coalition in Conroe on Dec. 16.

During the forum, sheriff candidates made their case for replacing outgoing Sheriff Tommy Gage. Topics discussed during the forum include Montgomery County Jail overcrowding and the new open carry law.

Capt. Rand Henderson, Sheriff Patrol Division 1-5 commander, said he hopes to bring community policing principles to the county if elected as sheriff.

“For 21 years I have lived, worked, worshiped, socialized [in Montgomery County] and been a part of the sheriff’s office protecting you,” Henderson said. “I am a community policing specialist. It is something that I want to bring to the Montgomery County sheriff’s office at all levels.”

Montgomery Police Chief Jim Napolitano said his experience as a former Secret Service agent as well as other law enforcement agency experience has prepared him for the sheriff position.

“I think I am the person with the correct credentials on a level of what we are seeing on the news on a daily basis, which is the threat from ISIS,” Napolitano said. “The threat to the United States is a definite threat. I have that anti-terrorism background along with local law enforcement.”

For voters interested in learning more about the candidates, the Conroe/Lake Conroe Chamber of Commerce is hosting a political forum featuring Sheriff, county attorney and several district judge candidates on Feb. 25. The forum will be held at the Conroe Baptist Church at 100 N. Main St., Conroe, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Primary election early voting starts Feb. 16 and ends Feb. 26. Following the primary election in March, election day is Nov. 8.

For more information, visit www.montgomeryvotes.org.