LEAGUE CITY — The owner of a gun range claims the executive assistant for Galveston County Judge Mark Henry called and suggested she would lose business if she went ahead with a Thursday meet-and-greet with Michelle Hatmaker, Henry’s opponent in the Republican primary. 

The judge’s assistant, Roxanne Lewis, denies she made any sort of threat, while Henry said any conversation between his assistant and Arms Room co-owner Brandy Liss was done on Lewis’ own time and without Henry’s knowledge.

Liss said she got a call from Lewis on the latter’s personal phone at about 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

“She asked me if we were hosting a meet-and-greet with Michelle Hatmaker, and I said yes,” Liss said. “She then said that she was the program chair(woman) of the Clear Creek Republican Women, and that many of those members were supporters of Mark Henry and that I should think twice about having an event for (Hatmaker).”

Lewis, who confirmed making a call while she was off from work on Wednesday, denied she made or implied a threat. She did say she mentioned to Liss that some people who support Henry “that would not support backers of Michelle Hatmaker,” Lewis said.

Liss said the Hatmaker camp contacted her asking to hold the meet-and-greet after she and Hatmaker meet at a chamber dinner.

“We got to talking about how she was a member of the NRA and how she supported the Second Amendment,” Liss said. “(Hatmaker’s campaign) called and asked about hosting an event, and I said sure. I would have done the same for Mark Henry is he asked me.

“I just saw it as an opportunity to promote my business.”

Liss said Lewis warned her that other businesses that had supported Henry’s opponents four years ago and this year “lost a lot of business because of it,” Liss said.

She said Lewis even threatened to mail letters to members of her women’s political group calling for them not to support the Arms Room, a charge that Lewis denies.

The phone call from Lewis worried Liss. She called her sister, who is a partner of the business, and suggested they consider canceling the event.

She called Hatmaker’s camp and suggested the same thing.

“I didn’t want to get in the middle of any political fight,” Liss said. “Mark Henry could come down here and we could have a debate. I don’t mind any candidate who supports the Second Amendment hosting an event here.”

Liss even joked the opponents could have a shootout.

Liss at first went to her company’s Facebook page and asked her customers for advice. Most told her to go ahead and let the event happen.

“At first, I was worried, but then I just got angry,” Liss said. “How dare someone threaten my business just because someone wanted to hold an event here?”

Lewis said the phone call was “blown out of proportion,” and that she never made a direct threat or suggested that she was making the call on behalf of Judge Henry.

“I made it clear I was calling on my own behalf,” she said.

Henry himself was at the Arms Room on Thursday, but not for Hatmaker’s event. He and his wife, Amy, decided they wanted to get some target practice.

“We had it on our calendar to go and shoot,” Henry said. 

“We’re far from trying to hurt the Arms Room business. I am trying to bring them business.”

Henry said he was unaware of his assistant’s call until Hatmaker’s supporters launched a mass email campaign.

“Anything Roxanne did was on her own and possibly as a member of the Clear Creek Republican Women,” Henry said.


Hatmaker called Lewis’ phone call, “highly inappropriate,” and called on the judge’s assistant to resign or be fired. Either move is unlikely as Henry voiced his support for Lewis. 

“I was appalled,” Hatmaker said after her event. “I thought it was highly unprofessional and completely unnecessary. This is a form of oppression. This is not Russia or China. This is not supposed to happen.” 


Early voting nears 10K

What had been a sluggish early voting period picked up the pace as we enter the final days of the 2014 primary season. Galveston County election officials said as of Thursday night when the polls closed, more than 9,800 people had cast ballots during the early voting period of the party primary elections. 

At that pace, early turnout for the election will easily top 10,000 voters when the polls close at 7 p.m. today, the last day of early voting. 

On Thursday, 305 voters cast ballots at the County’s Calder Annex in League City, 286 at Friendswood City Hall, 216 at the West County Building in Santa Fe and 166 at the Nessler Center in Texas City.

Primary election day is Tuesday.

(23) comments

Andy Aycoth

Girls will be girls just like boys will be boys. Girls just do it with words.

Kim Etheridge

My thoughts exactly.

Mick Phalen

A disagreement over what was said in a conversation between a Henry supporter and a Hatmaker supporter during a bitter campaign.

GDN should have made it their front page, headline story. They could have fact-checked for the truth with He!d! - she probably recorded it on her city supplied iPhone.

Carol Dean

Mick, are you still upset that you were caught on record in the middle of your personal tyrade against another Council Member?

Lars Faltskog

This could be a good story line scene for Bonanza. The only character missing is Hop Sing, who gets on the phone toward the end of the conversation and says (in his accent), "Don't ever call here again and threaten my boss, ya hear?!"

Cowboy politics at the local shootin' range - for folks who are bored and want to make the news. Non-locals who read this must be laughing at this small-town mentality.

Loretta Davis

The 8 1/2 by 11 mailer endorsing Hatmaker and some other Republican challengers (sent out by one of the gun shop owners ) probably didn't help either.

Chris Gimenez

I think employees follow their employer's lead and do what is expected of them. The phone call was one of desperation and I hope it's prophetic. Henry and Roady both need to be put out to pasture.


The Clown Show at the local level. Only thing missing is both sides blaming Obama.

Debra Criss

seriously, is this the best they can do with folks who are supposed to be leaders?

Paul Hyatt

Hatmaker lost my vote when Buzzbee showed his support for her....

Gary Miller

Ditto Paul.

JT Edwards

Seen this before:

"Ex-GOP Chair Lashes at County Judge's Assistant"

Galveston Daily News

The former chairman of the county's Republican party stunned officials on both sides of the political aisle last week when he publicly called on one of County Judge Mark Henry's top assistants to resign or be fired over an email seeking donations for an upcoming GOP fundraiser.

John LeCour claims his call for Roxanne Lewis' resignation is based on what he sees as unethical and possibly illegal behavior. Others within the party's establishment said his effort was a
personal vendetta meant to embarrass Lewis for her role in uncovering infidelity in his marriage that led to a divorce and his stepping down as the party's leader.

LeCour's complaint was lodged during an open comment session at Tuesday's county commissioners court meeting.

He argued that an email sent by the current chair of the Galveston County GOP, Barbara Meeks, seeking donations for the party's upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner violated state ethics laws
because it listed Lewis' county phone number as the contact.

Lewis, who is Henry's executive assistant, is the chairwoman of the dinner's organizing committee. She also is the former executive director of the Galveston County Republican Party, a
position she held for two years while LeCour was party chairman.

A second email sent by Meeks changed the contact number to Lewis' personal mobile number but included instructions for people wanting to donate to call her first and meet her in the parking lot of the county courthouse to drop off donations for the dinner.

"I consider this unethical and maybe a violation of the law to use taxpayer resources for political purposes," LeCour said.

"My first wish is that Ms. Lewis would recognize her unethical behavior and resign. If she does not, I ask that (the county judge) would terminate her and protect the integrity of Galveston
County and the Republican Party."

Henry defended Lewis and said she had not violated the law or county policy through her actions. He said the initial email that included Lewis' county office phone was an oversight
that was corrected before LeCour made an issue of it.

LeCour sees it otherwise."(Republicans) are doing things we started accusing Democrats of doing (in the last election)," said LeCour, referring to the Republican landslide in Galveston County. "I am trying to stop the hypocrisy that it is OK to do political activities at the courthouse."

Lewis said no one has attempted to call her on her office phone or come to the courthouse to donate items for the dinner.

She said she saw the first email had the incorrect phone number and quickly asked Meeks to correct it.

She also said she made the added effort to meet people outside her office so she would not run afoul of the law or county policy.

"I was surprised (by LeCour's attack)," Lewis said. "I didn't feel I had done anything wrong. I appreciate he pointed out to me there might possibly be a problem, but I don't think anything wrong was done."

Several high-ranking party officials said LeCour's intent had nothing to do with the ethics of public officials.

Instead, they claim his complaint was an act of retaliation against Lewis for the role she played in LeCour's divorce and resignation from the party's leadership.

Last year, LeCour and his wife, Sophia, divorced after she filed a petition claiming adultery. Judge Janice Yarbrough sealed the terms of the divorce at the request of the LeCours.

However, The Daily News confirmed one of the main points in the divorce was an affair Lewis uncovered through a series of emails that were forwarded to her.

Lewis confronted LeCour about the affair and insisted he should resign as party chairman.

When he didn't, she went to members of the party's executive committee.

LeCour, who once was a member of the Friendswood City Council, confirmed his resignation from the party was because of his divorce, but he would not discuss the affair or Lewis' role in exposing it.

"That was a very traumatic thing for me, and I couldn't get my arms wrapped around it," LeCour said. "My detractors want to point to this because they know they are guilty and that's how
they are going to try to get me to back down."

Lewis would not comment about LeCour's personal life.

The former party chair said his public outcry last week was just the start of what he said will be an ongoing campaign to hold officials within his party accountable.

"I just did not pop out of the woodwork," he said. "I haven't been just sitting back twiddling my thumbs. We said (in 2010) we would hold these new office holders accountable, and I, for one,

LeCour said in the coming weeks he will launch a website he said will track what he considers unethical behavior by county politicians, no matter their political affiliation.

Carol Dean

This is not the first time that Roxanne Lewis has done "personal" business on County time. I hear that she has finally figured out that she needs to make her phone calls on her phone from the safety of her car in the parking lot.

Ms. Lewis has recently "threatened" Sudie's restaurant with the same sort of intimidation because they hosted an event for a candidate who she did not "approve" of. Maybe Roxanne just has an issue with small business owners? I think not.

Lewis has also been a staunch supporter of former GCGOP chair, John LeCour and currently supports the equally unethical chairperson, Barbara Meeks. In the past, she also posted an extremely malicious email to GOP precinct chairs and others, attacking, the then Justice of the Peace, Mark Foster.

It is time for the GCGOP to do some housecleaning along with the County government as well. It is time to "Throw out the Trash"!

GW Cornelius

Sounds like something Henry would do. Creep!!

Gary Miller

703 voted in the county. Did any vote on the Island?

Gary Miller

Buzzbee clients are good at making unprovable claims.
Lets see a notorized transcript of the recorded conversation.
She says, She says is just static. Not worth publishing.

Carol Dean

Who says what? Who said she is a Buzbee client?

So, you are seriously believing Lewis's denials. Why don't you contact the other people she has pulled this same indiscretion on. If their word is not good enough for you, I will bet they are more then happy to supply you with sworn, notarized documentation.

Robert Young

LOL.... Ihog, Respectfully boy is that last comment so stupid its funny! Buzbee clients make millions when he proves up their valid claims in courts all over the country. Jury's constantly award his clients millions. ..Those are the facts. I don't think Buzbee deals in conjecture and stupid crap.. He deals in fact and rule of law. Something we should all do. Mark Henry's assistant's bullying bulldog tactics have come back to bite the Judge himself! Common knowledge that pit bull dogs sometime bite their own handlers. Ms. Hatmaker should send Ms.Lewis a gift certificate to the Arms room as Ms Lewis actions may make the final difference in the race for County Judge..

Kevin Lang

There's just so much ridiculousness in this story.

If I'm a candidate, I definitely want as many votes as I can get. But, I want people to vote for me because they KNOW I'm the better candidate. If my opponent wants to go out and meet the constituents, and I'm not doing that, then I have no reason being in the race.

If I'm a business person, I'll host anyone that wants to come by and chat. Whoever wins, I want them to know who I am, what I do, and why I'm doing it. I may be a party instrument, but my business is not. My business is politically unbiased. No matter who I support in the race, if my customers and my employees want to meet other candidates, then let them come in and chat with us. Our votes only last for one day. Your term in office will affect us for at least 2 years. If my business hosts a candidate, feel free and come by and ask me to host your gathering, too.

If you care so much about winning that you are willing to dump on people merely for voting against you, or even giving the impression that voting against you is an option, I would argue that you're running for the wrong reason. I don't care how conservative you are or claim to be. When you take office, you're representing that extremely liberal guy on East Elm St, too, as well as that Commie Supply Business on N. Q. St.

Miss Priss

Roxanne Lewis has too much to lose if Mark Henry is not re-elected. She loses her job - one she would have never been hired for if not for her connection to mark Henry.

She loses her "place" as a self annoited matriarch of the republican party. If she loses that - she loses her idea of being someone important. What she did do is show how low class she is calling a business and asking about the event in the first place.

The article also shows what an idiot Mark Henry is based on how he was quoted in the article. I'm glad that I now voted for Hatmaker and told many others to as well.

Judy Foster

mickphalen....So you call it a disagreement. The folks who own the business, who by the way got the phone from Lewis, call it a threat. I tend to believe it was more than a disagreement. Apparently Lewis has a track record of this type of behavior. Henry and Lewis aren't denying the call was made.I love the part where he and his wife just happened to be going to he Arm's Room the day the story broke, give me a break. Henry quickly takes the Chris Christie approach, "Duh, I don't know anything. You need to get over this love affair you have for Heidi. The folks in LC voted you out. Mark Henry, Barbara Meeks, Ryan Dennard, Ken Clark nor Tim Paulissen could help you. They tried and failed. We in LC wanted you out because you've lost contact with the citizen's. You might want to change your brand of Kool-aide.

Mick Phalen

Sweet Judy,

Are you naturally nasty and vindictive, or do you take lessons from the Evil one? I can assure you that Dennard, Clark, and Paulissen we're not "with me" in the last election.

As for He!d!, we can have that conversation when she runs for her next office.

As to your earlier suggestion that I'm out of the loop, I probably would agree - my wife will no longer let me come out and play in the sewer with you and your friends. I'm resigned to hanging out with golfers and fishermen, (and you know how they are) ...

Centerpointe Moderator

She said she said... sounds to me like everyone just needs to start recording their meetings and telephone conversations so that we can all be perfectly clear on this kind of stuff without a lot of time-wasting and finger-pointing.

These folks could take some pointers from LC City Council. They know a few things about recording dialog without it becoming general knowledge until such time as it becomes politically expedient.

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