Montgomery County Constable, Precinct 5
Brian Clack ✔
Logan D. Gatewood
TPP recommends Brian Clack
In Texas there are two law agencies which provide law enforcement to counties – sheriffs and constables. While a sheriff’s district is county wide, there can be up to 8 constable precincts in a county depending on population. A constable is a constitutionally authorized peace officer who has the same arrest powers and duties as municipal police officers and sheriffs. However, what makes a constable unique is that the only thing they MUST do is execute civil process for the courts. In Montgomery County there are five constable precincts. Historically, these constable offices have not been very proactive in law enforcement, opting to perform their responsibility of executing civil process for the courts but not being active in patrolling and providing law enforcement. In recent years, Constables Rowdy Hayden (Precinct 4) and Ryan Gable (Precinct 3) have taken their offices to a higher level and begun patrolling and engaging in additional law enforcement for the community on top of performing their constitutional duties.
Precinct 5 is in need of a constable who, like Constables Hayden and Gable, will increase the presence and impact of that department to help the Magnolia Police Department combat the crime and drugs that have been creeping into the community. Constable David Hill has been in office for 34 years and has proven himself unwilling to step up his game and join other constables in implementing better methods of protecting our community. We believe that Brian Clack has the knowledge and leadership to make Precinct 5 a more engaged department.
Brian Clack is currently the Detective/Investigator for the Magnolia Police Department, where he has worked since 2006. He also currently serves as President of the Magnolia Police Officers Association. Prior to his career in law enforcement, he was a small photography business owner and supervisor at his family’s sheet metal business.
Mr. Clack says that the constable’s office is not currently performing its duty effectively. He says that the office can provide much more service to the community than it already does. Instead of simply issuing civil papers, Mr. Clack says that the Precinct 5 office should be assisting the Sheriff’s office and Magnolia PD in providing law enforcement, patrols, and making arrests. Mr. Clack currently works in the Magnolia PD and he has the training and experience to take the office to the higher level at which it should be operating. Mr. Clack would also like to make the department into a 24/7 operation, as currently the office only operates 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Friday.
Mr. Clack lists the top three challenges facing the constable’s office as:
- Community awareness. Mr. Clack says that residents are not aware that the constable’s office can and should be a lot more engaged in law enforcement in the community, because David Hill has operated the office at such a low level for 34 years. Mr. Clack says that he looks forward to showing the residents how an engaged constable can address the problems of the community once elected.
- Improving the force. Mr. Clack says once in office, the first job will be to find out which deputies want to fix the problem or be a part of the problem. He says he has no problem sending a bad employee home; if they do not want to work hard and be a part of a team ready to learn and enforce criminal law, he says, they will make room for those who do.
- Warrant backlog. Mr. Clack says that over the years there has been a large backlog of warrants that should have been cleared. He said he will assign deputies to work on locating and clearing local warrants.
Mr. Clack is a strong conservative who has a history of supporting the conservative candidates in past races, including Mark Bosma for County Judge and Rob Harmon for County Commissioner for Precinct 2. He says that although he likes his current job and would be happy to stay in the position he is in, he feels compelled to run for this office because of the potential of the office David Hill is crushing, which ultimately is a detriment to the community. He says that Magnolia PD and deputies with the sheriff’s office are all unhappy with David Hill because he does not provide assistance, but that people are unwilling to run against him for fear of the backlash Mr. Hill is known to issue. When Mr. Clack ran against Mr. Hill in 2012, he says that many people who placed his campaign signs in their yards suddenly found themselves harassed by various county agencies – so much so, that Mr. Clack has had a hard time finding people willing to place signs in their yards for him this time. Mr. Clack also claims that during his 2012 challenge to Mr. Hill, Mr. Hill tried to have him arrested because he had sat in Mr. Hill’s golf cart at an event. However, Mr. Clack claims the run was worth it as it provided the pressure needed to make Constable Hill make the office a bit more engaged in law enforcement.
We commend Brian Clack for being brave enough to step up to the plate again during this election to do what he thinks is right for the community. He is qualified for this position, shares our values, and has an adequate campaign. The Texas Patriots PAC is proud to support Brian Clack for Constable Precinct 5.
Constable Hill declined to participate in our vetting process.
Constable Hill has been the Constable of Precinct 5 since 1982, making him the longest serving currently elected official in Montgomery County. Prior to becoming Constable, he served as a DPS trooper stationed in Magnolia. Until Brian Clack ran against him in 2012, Mr. Hill had not had an opponent since 1996. Only three other elections did he have opponents – 1988, 1984, and his initial election in 1982.
In 2012, Constable Hill admitted to violating Texas Penal Code in previous elections after documents showed his employees used county equipment and county time to work on his campaign. The illegal activity came to light after a former employee said employees worked on campaign items such as fundraiser fliers and lists while on county time and with county computers. The offense, Abuse of Official Capacity, can result in a State Jail Felony if the value of the thing misused results in more than $1,500. Nothing ever came of the situation, and Mr. Hill instructed his employees to cease campaign initiatives while on duty after discussing the issue with the District Attorney’s office.
Constable Hill was vociferous in his support for the wasteful May 2015 Montgomery County road bond, which earned him the nickname “Constabully” due to the way he publicly addressed opponents of the bond at Commissioners Court.
LOGAN D. GATEWOOD
Logan Gatewood is currently a contracts manager for Hess Corporation. Prior to this, he worked for several companies as a sourcing manager, sourcing analyst, or supply chain manager. Mr. Gatewood has also served for several years in the Texas State Guard.
Mr. Gatewood does not believe the office is currently fulfilling its duties effectively, although he says he admires David Hill. He believes the office can do more than the basic requirements of serving papers. He lists the three main challenges facing the office as:
- Transforming the department. Mr. Gatewood says the department needs to be transformed into a 21st century community policing force. He says this involves not only putting more deputies on the streets, but also changing the dynamic of the department let officers get to know the people they serve better.
- Not sacrificing core duties. Mr. Gatewood, touching upon the first point, says that to achieve this transformation, the department’s second challenge would be to do so without sacrificing the department’s core duties. He says this could be achieved through organization means.
- Budgeting. Mr. Gatewood says that a budget would have to be created to achieve the goals of the department without adding significant burden to the taxpayers. He says this can be done by developing a robust reserve officer division, and allocating resources where they need to go.
Mr. Gatewood touts position as an outsider as well as his business experience and State Guard service as his main qualifications for office. While we have no reason to doubt Mr. Gatewood’s proficiency in budgeting nor his leadership qualities developed through his service in the State Guard, we do not believe he has sufficient experience to qualify him to be a constable. Depending on the definition relative to the dynamics of the race, being an outsider may have valuable attributes in regards to a candidates’ case for running, we believe that while technically anyone can run for office, a candidate for constable should have some law enforcement experience first. Mr. Gatewood is not a licensed peace officer and would have to go through the police academy training if elected. Besides this, we do not believe Mr. Gatewood’s campaign has a sufficient path to victory to warrant our support.