Grant Moody emerges from a crowded field to get a nod from the Court of Commissioners

If you were aiming to build the perfect political candidate, you would probably end up with someone like Grant Moody.

The San Antonio Republican has a background in agriculture, having grown up on a farm in Kansas.

He understands military issues, having served 10 years as an active duty Navy fighter pilot, with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has a strong business background, with a degree in economics from the US Naval Academy and stints as an executive at USAA and Valero.

He is politically engaged, having represented Texas as a delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention and working in 2014 as a legislative aide to Congressman (and future US Secretary of State) Mike Pompeo.

He’s tall, handsome, and blessed with the frame of an NFL center linebacker.

He is a devoted family man.

And he’s only 42 years old.

All of those credentials came into play Thursday night when the presidents of the Bexar County Republican Party’s north side precinct gathered in Aggie Park and chose Moody to be the GOP nominee for county commissioner in the county. Precinct 3 – the only Republican seat in the Court of Commissioners.

Trish DeBerry left the seat last December to run for county judge. His decision triggered an election in 2022, but came too late to allow for primary elections. Thus, the two candidates from the main parties had to be selected by the constituency presidents.

In a way, Moody looked like a long-shot.

Nine candidates applied for the GOP nomination, not including Councilman Clayton Perry, who flirted with a race but did not fill out a nomination form and did not attend Thursday’s meeting.

The candidates included Marialyn Barnard – the acting Precinct 3 County Commissioner who was appointed in January by Democratic County Judge Nelson Wolff – and Carlton Soules, a former Northeast Side council member.

Two recent council candidates were also in the running for the nomination: fiery culture warrior Patrick Von Dohlen and Patty Gibbons, president of the Greater Harmony Hills Neighborhood Association.

In a battle between nine candidates who all believe in “life, liberty, law enforcement, lower taxes and the integrity of elections,” as Von Dohlen put it, artificial distinctions must be conjured up. .

In this case, that meant Soules defined himself as a rebel with a record of fighting “a litany of socialist agendas” and cast Barnard as a get-on establishment figure.

Soules began his Thursday night speech by holding up printouts of recorded minutes from every Court of Commissioners meeting during Barnard’s six-month tenure.

“Thirteen meetings, over a billion dollars spent and 617 votes counted,” Soules said. “During his tenure, our current commissioner voted with Democrat Nelson Wolff 616 times. It’s 99.9 percent.

Barnard, a former Fourth Court of Appeals judge, pushed back against Soules, arguing that Wolff and other Democrats on the commissioners’ court voted with her, not the other way around. To illustrate the point, Barnard cited his successful efforts to pass a 20% exemption on county homesteads for property taxes.

Soules went negative to boost his own chances, but it also served to help Moody, arguing against sticking with a solid starter.

On the first ballot, Moody received 27 votes, Barnard got 25, and Soules got 21. As the process progressed, Moody’s support grew.

Before the fourth and final round, the two finalists – Moody and Barnard – presented their closing arguments to the Speakers of the Precinct.

Moody announced that Soules and Von Dohlen were supporting him, and he picked up Soules’ anti-incumbent thread.

“Listen, elections are about choice,” he said. “My opponent is clearly not responsible for all the debt and actions of the last 20 years in the Court of Commissioners.

“But she is the choice of the status quo. Do you agree with the status quo? »

The answer was clear. On the fourth ballot, Moody won with 74 votes to Barnard’s 28. (Jesus Christ received a written vote.)

Barnard had a good case to make. She noted that she was the only candidate in this race to have applied in January for the appointment to the Court of Commissioners. Without her, she said, the seat could have gone to a Democrat.

This argument, however, did not sufficiently convince the presidents of the precinct. Ultimately, tenure was Barnard’s greatest strength and greatest weakness.

As for Moody, he will be a heavy favorite in November to defeat Democratic candidate Susan Korbel. Something tells me there will be applications for higher office in his future.

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