Donald Trump’s massive Conroe rally featured a roster of big-name statewide politicians, including Republican incumbents he has endorsed such as Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, Attorney General Ken Paxton and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. However, there were also several local Montgomery County politicians in attendance as well, and a few lucky ones received a personal shout out from the former president.
As he usually does at his his rallies, Trump name checked the members of the state’s Republican congressional delegation who were in attendance (with the exception of Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX). Trump mentioned retiring Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), noting that he had served a long time in Congress.
Trump also gave a shout out to State Representative Steve Toth (R-Conroe). “Steve, he’s a big guy for stopping the election fraud.” Toth filed a bill last year to mandate an audit of Texas’ 13 largest counties, of which Trump was apparently aware, going so far as to issue a statement in support of the bill. Despite Trump’s support, Toth’s audit bill did not pass.
Trump then thanked Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough, who had opened the event in prayer. “Thank you Mark,” said Trump. “A lot of power in that guy, a lot of power.”
Perhaps Trump’s kindest words were reserved for former Montgomery County GOP County Chairman Dr. Wally Wilkerson, a 92 year old Republican Party legend who is the longest serving county chair in history and who was in attendance.
“And a very special thanks to the longest serving GOP chair, longest serving in history,” said Trump. “92 year old, I watched him, I talked to him backstage, he’s still a dynamo, Dr. Wally Wilkerson. Wally, thank you. Thanks Wally, he’s still a dynamo!”
Although he did not explicitly endorse like he did in statewide races, Trump’s shout outs to Toth and Keough will likely give the two incumbents a boost in their re-election campaigns. Both are facing credible primary challengers. In addition to being good publicity in front of a crowd that likely contained many primary voters, Trump’s kind words will be perfect blurbs to put on mailers and push cards.
However, despite what many political observers expected, Trump did not weigh in on the race for Brady’s open 8th Congressional District. Two District 8 candidates, Morgan Luttrell and Christian Collins, were seen emerging from the backstage area right before Trump came out and spoke. Luttrell and Collins both sat in the VIP section during Trump’s speech. A third CD-08 candidate, Jonathan Hullihan, was spotted working the crowd throughout the event, talking and taking selfies with audience members as he worked his way through the crowd.
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