By LeaAnne Klentzman
In the highly contested race for Fort Bend County Sheriff Precinct 4 Constable Troy Nehls trounced all three of his opponents.
The 2012 race for sheriff began less than a month after the current sitting sheriff, Milton Wright, took office in 2009. At a political breakfast for Andy Meyers that January morning, Wright and Meyers announced that since Wright intended to retire at the end of 2012, his chief deputy Craig Brady, would be seeking the Republican nomination for the term beginning January 1, 2013.
The race began in earnest a couple of years later in 2011 when former police chief/businessman John Minchew entered the race. Shortly after, he was followed by retired Texas Trooper and Richmond Police administrator Billy Frank Teague.
After that, Precinct 4 Constable Troy Nehls formed an exploratory committee to test the feasibility of his run for the office of Sheriff. The race moved along with Brady raising upwards to a half million dollars for a job that would actually require him to take a pay cut. It is interesting to note that all three of Brady’s opponents combined spent less than one quarter of the money raised or spent by Craig Brady.
In the ever evolving campaign strategies, social media was a platform for several of the candidates and their supporters in their effort to spread their message. In some cases it appeared to be beneficial, in other cases it may have backfired onto the candidate. It was an amazing race to watch unfold–complete with questionable characters, massive amounts of money, bad behavior, and poor judgment.
On election night when the early voting numbers were released, Troy Nehls was way out front and never looked back. In early voting Nehls garnered 56.52% of the vote with 11,062 votes, Brady was at 33.20% with 6,497, Teague with 6.90% and Minchew with 3.39%.
According to the election results posted by the Fort Bend County Elections Office at the end of the night on May 29, 2012 and total votes tallied, Troy Nehls handily won the Republican nomination for sheriff of Fort Bend County with 54.80% of the Republican vote with 18,906 votes.
Brady ended the night with 34.48% of the vote and 11,895 votes, Teague at 7.02% with 2,422 votes and Minchew at 3.70% with 1,276 votes. Interestingly if all the votes for Brady, Teague, and Minchew were added together, there would still not have been the much anticipated runoff.
Now that the candidates for the Republican and Democratic parties have been selected in the race for the next sheriff of Fort Bend County, Republican Troy Nehls and Democratic nominee Michael Ellison, who ran unopposed, will ready themselves and their parties for the November general election.