Galveston County was treated to politics Cheryl Johnson-style in a fascinating article by John Wayne Ferguson that included “claims of lies and vendettas” regarding the “hotly contested race” for tax assessor-collector (“Claims of lies, vendettas mark tax assessor race,” The Daily News, Jan. 26). Bananas, right? Yet, here we are.

Fact, incumbent Cheryl Johnson has already had 16 years to do the things that she claims to need another four to accomplish. Fact, Jackie Peden is probably the most qualified person to ever run for Galveston County tax assessor-collector.

When Cheryl Johnson tells you with a straight face that she looked for someone to groom to take over as Galveston County tax assessor-collector but she couldn’t find anyone, it tells you three things about her: 1. She believes the tax assessor-collector office belongs to her and her alone; 2. She doesn’t believe there’s a single soul in Galveston County that could replace her; and 3. She doesn’t trust Galveston County Republican primary voters with something as pedestrian as an election.

For all of the people that 64-year-old Cheryl Johnson attempted to groom and then precluded from taking over for her, she didn’t say Jackie Peden wasn’t qualified or incapable of performing with the utmost in excellence as Galveston County’s tax assessor-collector.

The temporary restraining order that resulted from the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit against Johnson prevents her from removing voters from the rolls, but it doesn’t prevent her from removing illegal voters, i.e., the temporary restraining order doesn’t prevent a duly elected officeholder from carrying out lawful duties of the office.

Lest the restraining order be unanimously overturned by the Texas Supreme Court. The ACLU probably can’t believe their good luck so far in dealing with Johnson, and I’m sure they appreciate Johnson’s lack of effort in cleaning up the voter rolls over the last 16 years.

While it seems the formerly pro term limits Johnson was being defensive and blaming anyone but herself, it doesn’t seem like a good strategy for a red county officeholder to bemoan Galveston County not spending even more money on her office. I still remember when Johnson threw a public fit when she realized a county-wide hiring freeze also included her office.

Johnson’s disruptive management style is only outdone by her contentiousness within the county government. When it comes to defending her record, it’s immediately clear that Johnson isn’t comfortable letting it stand on its merit. Understandable. So, who will Johnson find to replace herself in another four years? Seriously? You didn’t buy that excuse any more than anyone else who read it, did you?

On the other hand, Peden is a solid professional, has a tremendous work ethic, and maintains a charming and inviting personality. Thus far, Peden’s only mistake was in believing that a campaign against Johnson could be run on the issues alone. If only that were the case.

Vote Jackie Peden.

Shawn Christopher Phillips lives in Texas City.


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(11) comments

Carlos Ponce

When your candidate doesn't have what it takes, what do you do? RUN A NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN! Do we read ANY reasons to vote FOR Jackie Peden? Not really, but she is a "solid professional, has a tremendous work ethic, and maintains a charming and inviting personality". Does that really tell us anything? What are her qualifications? We'll never know from this Cheryl Johnson hit piece. The rest of the column, EIGHT WHOLE PARAGRAPHS, is an anti- Cheryl Johnson diatribe whom we know CAN DO THE JOB and has done an excellent one as tax assessor-collector.

How does Shawn Christopher Phillips know Jackie Peden? We don't know from this hit piece All we know is Phillips has some grudge against a wonderful person. Has he ever been to one of Cheryl's tax reduction meetings? I have, and followed her advice to lower my taxes. I've had several conversations with her, the last one at the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Gala last Friday. I'm voting Cheryl Johnson.

Bailey Jones

hmmm - "Jackie Peden is probably the most qualified person to ever run for Galveston County tax assessor-collector" - yet no qualifications are mentioned.

Theresa Elliott

This article is full of opinionated baseless bashing of Cheryl Johnson and no facts of any actual qualifications of Ms. Peden. Sad that people try to pursuance others this way.

Carol Dean

To Jackie's credit, she doesn't mention qualifications, because she has NONE!

Rodney Dunklee

When someone spouts "term limits," it is a sign they embrace populist rather than well reasoned solutions. Lots of new, inexperienced office holders empowers unelected municipal manergers in growing government on the local level and party bosses on the national level who control party money and become king makers to the point that only billionaires can afford to mount credible campains. Term limits are not wise because they force voters to choose from the party anointed or the wealthy rather than allowing leadership experience in office produce a groundswell of support.

Theresa Elliott

Meant to say “persuade”

Carol Dean

There you go again, SCP, talking in circles and trying to discredit people. It didn't work for you in the past and it won't work for you now.

Peden is only running for this position because your good buddy drafted her to do that.

She has zero credentials other then being her "husband's bookkeeper". ZERO talking points other then lies. She probably learned that from you.

I'm more concerned about her and her husbands connection to the Salinas debacle that stole money from retirees, Hope Village and Livingstones Church, plus others. Claims from her hubby that he "knew nothing about what was going on" just don't pass the "smell test". How can you be the CFO for 5 years and not be aware of the numbers??? Jackie was right there along for the ride and the high life.

Go back under your rock, SCP, Galveston County know you are NOT who you like to think you are. Take your "wannabee" friends" with you!

Cheryl Johnson is the Tax/Accessor/Collector/Registrar who we TRUST!

Don Schlessinger

"Cheryl Johnson is the Tax/Accessor/Collector/Registrar who we TRUST!"


Don Johnson

Is Shawn Christopher Phillips saying term limits should be established to push senior elected officials out of county offices? Does he mean Ken Clark, Kevin Walsh, John Ellisor, Kathleen McCumber and Stephen Holmes should be term limited (all having more seniority than Cheryl Johnson)? Why wasn’t he out there saying that two years ago?

And where does Phillips say he found a position paper from Chery advocating term limits for county officials – or is this just another falsehood being promoted from a Mark Henry politico notorious for misrepresentations? In the 2018 election cycle, Phillips was the promoter of many lies about Judge Cox, including the outrageous falsehood that Judge Cox was under criminal investigation. There never was any investigation because there was no wrong doing and as soon as the election was over, Phillips and others working for Mark Henry dropped their spurious claims.

Don’t be fooled again by this self-serving, Commissioner Court appointee and Henry politico.

Ray Taft

Shawn Christoper Philips wrote: “...64-year-old Cheryl Johnson...”. Seriously! Now it’s Cheryl Johnson’s age that one of Peden’s minions is pointing out.

Looks like age discrimination to me. Peden should not put up with her supporters practicing any kind of discrimination. Who wants a Tax Assessor-Collector who discriminates.

What I’m not buying is that Galveston County needs to replace a proven professional because one of Peden’s supporters falsely hints that Cheryl Johnson may be too old. It’s well known that 65 is the new 45.

Galveston County has front row seats to see the excellent job Cheryl is doing and will continue to do for a long time to come! We don’t have any first-hand knowledge about Peden’s capabilities, only her supporters’ hearsay. Remember Peden did not attend the Clear Lake Tea Party’s debate. Will she be an absentee Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector too?

Vote for Cheryl Johnson a proven professional, who shows up and gets the job done for all the people of Galveston County.

Carol Dean

Ray, I love this! Good point. I wonder how old "Wackie Jackie" is; she has 5 grandchildren.

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