(37) comments Back to story

Walter Manuel

"He has decreased the county tax rate every year and has still given raises to all county employees".

When was the last time anyone on commissioner's court considered giving their "retirees" a raise???

It appears that no one really cares about those who served many years of their lives to Galveston county and retired with time vested to see that retirees should be also included in the conversation when raises are being handed out!

Shawn Christopher Phillips

Hear, Hear Mr. Holbrook!

Ray Taft

Ray Holbrook is a Democrat telling Republicans who to vote for.

Holbrook wrote that his prior experience leads him to support Henry. Yet Holbrook admits that running the county is “much more complex now than it was 20 and 30 years ago.” Things have changed since Holbrook’s time, so how is Holbrook’s endorsement relevant?

Holbrook wants us to believe hearsay. Holbrook ‘heard’ around the Court house that Cox is up to something. Holbrook believes Cox is a district court judge who wants to become county judge. Let’s remember that Henry is a county judge who assumed judicial duties to supplement his salary.

According to Holbrook, one of Judge Henry’s accomplishments is lowering taxes. Yet Henry has refused to allow a county property tax reappraisal in lieu of Harvey. Henry is not lowering taxes now.

Galveston County had devastating flooding and little help from the county before, during and after Harvey. Holbrook admitted Henry needs help with flood control. The problem we have in Galveston County today is that Judge Henry is not getting things done. Henry is usually waiting for someone else to do something. Perhaps Cox is that someone else.

PD Hyatt

If you would stop and think about it, if Henry would have allowed CAD to appraise all of the houses that had been hurt in Harvey and all of the taxable amount would have been lowered. Yes, that might have helped us home owners that had been hurt, but have you stopped and thought about all of the school districts, cities that would have been hurt because of the lower tax amounts that they would have been getting after all of them had set their budgets? What do you think that would have caused for all of them? I would be willing to bet that many of the schools and cities would have had layoffs and had to cut back on many of the services that they normally provide.... If that would have happened there would be a huge up roar from it. As it is when CAD redoes the evaluations' this year there will be many budgets that will be cut this coming year.... I wonder how many will scream about that happening....

Don Johnson

It’s unconscionable how Mark Henry has misrepresented the way disaster reappraisal would work if adopted by the county. The County Judge should be honestly telling everyone a vote FOR disaster reappraisal by county commissioners’ court only impacts county taxes. Property tax values for cities, school districts, etc. can only be included in a disaster reappraisal if each of their governing bodies vote independently to be included in such and they agree to share the $22 per parcel charge being demanded by the Chief Appraiser. This is one of the most significant failings of Mark Henry, he appears to have no reservation about using deceptive misrepresentations to win over support for his agenda. And, in my opinion honesty should not be a negotiable character quality for our elected officials.

Carlos Ponce

"Ray Holbrook is a Democrat telling Republicans who to vote for. "
Yes, he ran as a Democrat back in the day..... so did Lonnie Cox.
Both now call themselves Republican.
"Those who attended the ceremony included former Galveston County Judge Ray Holbrook, who was then a Democrat but has since become a Republican..."
http://guidrynews.com/story.aspx?id=1000031684
"Lonnie Cox who ran as a Democrat in 2002 announced he will run as a Republican for judgeship of the 56th District Court.
Lonnie, you and I are best friends. I’ve stated. before that I don’t hold it against you personally that you have chosen to switch parties.
My only heartburn with your switch is that I sat through literally dozens of speeches you gave last election cycle where you praised the Democratic Party and stated with conviction that it was the only party looking out for working people, the poor arid the wronged." Galveston County Democratic Party Chairman Tony Buzbee, Friendswood
Galveston Daily News October 2, 2003 Page A8

Don Johnson

Carlos, Ray Holbrook was an elected Democrat official for 28 years, a long term fixture in the local Democrat Party. You can’t say anything like that about Judge Cox – he’s never been a Democrat official. To make any comparison between the two of them is ridiculous.
Also, he never praised the Democrat Party. Your rendition of Judge Cox saying anything like that at political events last term is clearly a lie. Maybe you are angling for a county job from Mark Henry; but this fabrication is so far beyond anything believable that I doubt the even the county judge’s campaign team will think you are worth a second look.
And, calling yourself a friend of Judge Cox – that’s laughable.

Carlos Ponce

"To make any comparison between the two of them is ridiculous."
Excuse me but the Galveston County Democratic Party during Ray Holbrook's tenure is NOT the same as when Judge Cox ran as a Democrat."To make any comparison between the two of them is ridiculous."
And I NEVER posted anything about ME being a friend of Judge Cox. If you BOTHERED to read my post, I was quoting from a GCDN Letter to the editor written by Democratic County Chairman Tony Buzbee in 2003. Please take time to read the entire post before making such an error. Didn't you see the quotation marks, the citation of the GCDN article from 2003 and the attribution of Tony Buzbee to that quote????????

Carol Dean

That was "then", this is "now". I don't even want to count the number of ems who have resorted to putting an R behind their name these days just to seek election. Even Tony Buzbee has made huge financial contributions in recent years to those seeking both local, state and national election as Republicans.

Carlos Ponce

Thank you Judge Holbrook for your insight and experience on this matter.

PD Hyatt

This is a different slant on things when a democrat recommends that people vote for a Republican.... I for one think it is awesome when integrity and job performance is elevated over party! I for one would not vote for Cox for 2 reasons. 1) He opinion piece about who he calls the alt. right (Christians) and what he thinks about them. 2) The lawsuit that he brought against Henry and then when it got to the Texas Supreme Court they ALL came down on Judge Henry's side.... The county is out 1.3 million dollars because of that lawsuit that We The People had to pay for.... Cox should have but he refused....

Gary Miller

When a Democrap reccomends a Republican I usually discount it. In this case I agree with the Democrap.

Carlos Ponce

Cox and Holbrook are both Republican.

Don Johnson

There are many self-serving individuals desperate to keep their place at the government trough. Obviously, Ray Holbrook is willing to say whatever falsehoods are necessary to stay in the good graces of the incumbent. He forgets, after Mark Henry was elected and before being officially sworn into office, Henry found a county employee (Mr. Freeman) to start handing out little notes to other employees announcing the new County Judge (elect) intention to begin terminating employees. Many of these folks had been long term employees and there were no known performance issues to warrant dismissal for most of these individuals. These employees were being terminated because at some time they had supported “Democrats” and/or it was revenge for personnel that publicly opposed the election of Mark Henry. Undoubtedly some of these employees supported Ray Holbrook, when he was an elected Democrat. These folks were not given a hearing or even an interview where they might have been able to defend themselves from the political slaughter that occurred in late 2010. Inside the county, Mark Henry came into office as a “bully” and continues to be one today. And, it was Henry’s unexpected dismissal of a court employee that led to the conflict with District Court Judges. I’m a little surprised to see Ray admit the decisions in District Court by Judge Wood and in the Appellate Court by a 3 judge panel was: Mark Henry did not have the authority to hire and fire the Court Administrator. The part Ray omitted from his writing was after 2 losses in the courts, Henry’s expensive legal dream team decided commissioners needed to create a new legal loophole, something they could argue at the Texas Supreme Court. As directed, Commissioners severely cut the Court Administrator’s salary and that became the focus of the argument. The court was firm on the point that Henry should not have summarily terminated a court employee; but, they ruled Judge Wood errored when she said Commissioners should continue to pay Bonnie the salary she was being paid at the time of her termination. Remember this started as just a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) where Henry had lots of economical options 1) he could have allowed the county staff attorneys to handle his appeal 2) he could simply settle with the employee, this would have likely been less than $100,000 3) the employee could have been allowed to come back to work until the wrongful termination suit was decided, etc. Instead, the “Bullies ego” got in the way and Henry committed to spend any amount necessary (of taxpayer funds) to prove he could terminate any county employee (without coordination or permission from anyone). That cost taxpayers over $1.3 million. (In the end the SCOTX decided something different – Commissioners Court could change the budget and on that one point Judge Wood’s decision was over turned.) Ray implies that Judge Cox should have paid the county for Mark Henry’s decision to hire an expensive legal dream team. The facts are: Judge Cox paid the legal expenses to uphold the position of District Judges. Neither the Supreme Court of Texas nor Commissioners Court ever asked Judge Cox to pay anything more than court cost – which he did. Also, Ray is wrong about District Judges holding the top paid positions in the county. Back in the 60’s District Judges may have been paid more; however, today Mark Henry has a base salary that is more and when you add a $12,000 car allowance on top of that, his pay is a lot more than District Judges. And, on top of all that Henry has admitted he is only a part time County Judge, earning an extra $25,000 a year with a side job for the state. Henry is likely the highest paid County Judge in the state of Texas. Maybe if Galveston County had a fulltime County Judge we would not have the highest county property tax rate of the surrounding counties or the highest debt rate of similar sized Texas counties. Ray just has it completely wrong in this writing, voters need to let Mark Henry go back to working fulltime at his Beer Joint and elect Judge Lonnie Cox to lead Galveston County into a prosperous future – with much better flood protetion.

Doyle Beard

Cox did not pay for his legal fees like he implied, his contributors did that.

Don Johnson

Elected officials are free to use their campaign funds in a variety of ways. Judge Cox saved the taxpayers any expense by supporting the position of the State District Judges with his campaign funds – this would be defined as an acceptable expense of office. Of course I’m not sure that Mark Henry didn’t go over the line when he ordered $60,000 to be transferred out of his campaign funds into his own bank account. I don’t know how that can be called an acceptable expense of office or allowable campaign expenditure?

Doyle Beard

not telling the truth and not being upfront is totally unacceptable. Telling people I paid my own expense . Been many post is the past as to Judge cox paying out of his pocket because people believed him as to what he said.

Doyle Beard

regardless of how you try to explain Judge Cox let his EGO guide him.

Ken Hufstetler

Judge Holbrook was a highly respected County Judge that accomplished a lot for Galveston County during his years of service. He is still highly respected by those who know him. On the party affiliation, Galveston County was Democratic when Holbrook first ran for office. It was Republican when Judge Cox ran. You have to campaign as the party in control if you want to win an election. It was true in Holbrook's time and in Cox's time. Always has been and always will be.

Doyle Beard

Right on Ken

Don Johnson

In 2003, when Lonnie Cox ran, Galveston County was securely under the control of Democrats. In fact, at that time Republicans had not been able to defeat (county wide) incumbent Democrats in Galveston County since reconstruction. Back then the politicos predicted Cox would be defeated just as all the other Republicans before him had been. And, that’s one of the big differences between what Cox and Holbrook accomplished. Ray Holbrook signed-up as a Democrat because that was the sure way to get elected … Judge Cox signed-up to run as a Republican because of his convictions knowing Galveston County was clearly under the control of Democrats. It was Judge Cox and a small number of Republicans that blazed the way forward to the 2010 elections when Republicans finally came to power in Galveston County. Of course this was when Mark Henry was first elected County Judge. During his campaign he was asked why he was running for County Judge and answered: he was an opportunist and thought this was the election that would bring Republicans into power in Galveston County. I must give him credit for his intuition, but can’t say much about his convictions.

Shawn Christopher Phillips

"And, in my opinion honesty should not be a negotiable character quality for our elected officials.


There are many self-serving individuals desperate to keep their place at the government trough.


Elected officials are free to use their campaign funds in a variety of ways." - Don Johnson


Don's wife Cheryl Johnson has been feeding from the government trough since at least 2004.

Jim Forsythe

Shawn Christopher Phillips what has Cheryl Johnson done . Please post facts.

Don Johnson

Cheryl has earned her seat in county government through hard work and public elections.

What have you done SCP other than spew falsehoods and spread libelous editorials for cowards that hide behind your dirty work?

From the reviews I’ve read it sounds like you live in a low rent, roach invested apartment with a scenic view of your motorcycle in the parking lot. If true, I understand why you seem to have nothing better to do than wait for Mark or Ken to brush a few crumbs your way.

I guess when you have no need of a respectable reputation it means nothing to flagrantly lie about elected officials and others.

Shawn Christopher Phillips

Oh, Jimmy Forsythe, it's clear that you are not interested in the facts, and no one can understand the truth for you.

You can do the homework, or go pound sand. Doesn't matter to me.

I've written plenty about Cheryl Johnson, and I'm sure I'll write more.

Jim Forsythe

Please share what you know for as fact. Why be nasty, when all I asked was for you to share facts. I have not read anything, you have written about Cheryl Johnson.

Shawn Christopher Phillips

Save your strength, Don. Your meal ticket may get voted out of office in a couple of years, and then what are you going to do?

[Imagine the soup nazi from Seinfeld.] No more trough for you!

Jim Forsythe

Shawn Christopher Phillips what has Cheryl Johnson done . Please post facts.

Don Johnson

(SCP) If you lose your benefactors in this election maybe you could roll your grocery basket down to the 146 overpass at 25th Ave; but you know there’s no internet or electrical outlets there and the Republican Party is not going to let you use their connections anymore.

Carlos Ponce

Cheryl Johnson holds neighborhood seminars on how to contest and reduce the appraised value of your property. It worked for me. I attended the seminar at The First Baptist Church in Hitchcock.

Shawn Christopher Phillips

Jimmy, it is a fact that Cheryl Johnson has endorsed Lonnie Cox who is under criminal investigation, while her husband Don has come here at her behest to defend Lonnie and to bash the very honorable Ray Holbrook.

Don Johnson

Judge Cox is not under investigation and I've advised him the proper thing to do is bring a civil action against anyone that is spreading this libelous rumor. (SCP) You don’t have much of value and if you want to risk it … just keep it up.

Doyle Beard

I have know Judge Holbrook 60 plus years. A fine honorable judge along with being a gr eat person well respected. How many of you have known Judge Cox that long?

Jim Forsythe

How is Cheryl Johnson feeding been  from the government trough. Please provide the facts, as I cannot find anything about that.Please explain what you mean by this?

What kind of criminal investigation is Lonnie Cox under ?  I have also tried to find what he is under criminal investigation for. Please provide the facts about what he is being investigation for?
Anyone using anything but a person name, only shows disrespected for themselves. At the top of my post you will see my name, Jim Forsythe.
Please use it, so you can show respect for yourself. I have used the name you posted,Shawn Christopher Phillips. All I have asked of you are  facts, and it seams to upset you. If you do not tell me the facts, I will not have anything to go on.                        

Shawn Christopher Phillips

Don, it is disturbing that Lonnie Cox would accept legal advice from you.

Lonnie Cox IS currently under criminal investigation.

If a special prosecutor is named, then an indictment won't be far behind.

Jim Forsythe

Shawn Christopher Phillips what will he be indictment, be for?

Randy Chapman

SCP is spewing lies. I hope Mr. Cox takes him to the woodshed with the legal system and shuts him up once and for good.

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