Former Dallas County GOP Chair Beats Sue Piner for Comal Position

Mark Montgomery
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Mark Montgomery defeated incumbent Comal Republican Party Chair Sue Piner on Tuesday, winning 53.96% of the vote in the March 5 Primary Elections.

Piner served as county chair since 2019 and was endorsed by Republican State Senator Donna Campbell, who represents Canyon Lake in District 25.

Final primary election results must be canvassed by the GOP’s state executive committee by March 17. Certification must be posted on the Texas Secretary of State’s website. The party also will canvas primary runoff results.

March  20 is the last day that primary runoff candidates may withdraw depending on party rules.

Montgomery officially takes office on June 17, the 20th day after the May 28 primary runoff election.

He moved to Comal County with wife Cindi six years ago and became actively involved in local politics, volunteering at Republican Party headquarters in New Braunfels, working with Republican clubs, serving as an election judge and clerk, and writing checks for fundraisers.

Montgomery lives right in the middle of Comal County, just south of Startzville on the south side of Canyon Lake.

Some 80,000 registered voters who live outside of New Braunfels have never received any information from local party officials according to Montgomery.

“My goal is to reach out to everyone in the county and keep them informed of recent events, what is going on in our local county and state government and offer those that are interested in an opportunity to be involved in the county party,” Montgomery said. “Well-informed voters will make wise choices at the ballot box.”

The new party chair said he also will seek and vet conservative candidates for school boards, New Braunfels city council and other local and state positions.

Montgomery plans to work closely with precinct chairs.

“I want to keep Comal County a true conservative county that will remain red,” he said.

This isn’t Montgomery’s first go-round as a county party chair.

According to August 2016 articles in the Texas Tribune and Dallas Morning News, Montgomery resigned as Dallas County Republican chairman over alleged financial impropriety after just two months in office.

Dallas County is the second-largest county in Texas.

“In the two months that Mark Montgomery has been at the helm of the Dallas County Republican Party, the group’s bank account has gone from about $30,000 to $180,” the Morning News reported.

The Texas Tribune called his election “nothing short of a fluke” as the “Tea Party activist” “had minimally campaigned for the post — he did spend $30 to print his own business cards — and ended up ousting incumbent Wade Emmert, who just a year earlier was a serious candidate to lead the state party.”

In an interview for that story, Montgomery attributed his resignation to “some recent changes in my personal life that will inhibit my ability to continue to serve.”

In a Thursday email to MyCanyonLake.com,  the Comal GOP’s next party chair described the two news publications as liberal news outlets that failed to mention three other bank accounts owned by the Dallas County party that had money in them.

“The account that they referred to was a dormant account that was never used,” he said. “They also had no knowledge of the reason that I resigned. My wife’s illness became terminal and I chose to stay at home and tend to her full-time.

“She passed away just a few months later.”


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