The 2019 election for The Woodlands Township board has a total of 11 candidates vying for three open seats, making this year the most contested race for seats on the seven-member board since 2016.
While many of the candidates for the Position 5, 6 and 7 seats have been active in campaigning — whether it be meeting voters at The Woodlands Farmers Market or participating in candidate forums — one has been conspicuously absent.
Luis “Louis” Granados, a candidate for the position 6 seat on the board, has not participated in any candidate forums, debates or meet and greets as of Oct. 21.
Granados, who was removed from the ballot in 2018 when he attempted to contest then-incumbent John Anthony Brown, is trying to unseat incumbent Ann Snyder along with two other candidates, Alan Richel and Thomas Chumbley.
The latest event Granados missed was the Oct. 15 candidate forum hosted by The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce. Granados had originally committed to take part in the forum, but he did not show up at the event, which was scheduled for 4 p.m. through 6 p.m. and including the 10 other candidates for the three seats.
“I had a tragic situation in my family and I had to go abroad. I am running for this position. I am running, but I am not proselytizing or making any campaign, because people should know where we are and what they are getting with the people elected the last time,” Granados said. “I don’t the personal interest in this. I am just (running for office) because of seeing the degradation of the quality of life The Woodlands in the last five to seven years.”
Granados also missed numerous other candidate forums, including several private forums such as the Windsor Hills senior living community candidate forum.
“I told them I was not going to be in the country at that time,” Granados said of missing the Windsor Hills candidate forum. “I have been out of the country and I just came back. I was (out of the country) since Sept. 10 and I came back on Oct. 9. It was a medical emergency for a family member and I needed to go. Things happen, right, when you have a family (emergency) you need to prioritize that.”
In 2018, Granados was removed from the township ballot before the drawing for candidate placement on the ballot was done. Granados did not fill out his candidate application form properly, leaving blank two mandatory boxes asking candidates to list their length of continuous residency in both the state of Texas as well as The Woodlands. Granados has resided in the state and The Woodlands the minimum required time period, but because he did not fill the boxes out, he was ruled ineligible for the 2018 election. After his removal, his challenger — John Anthony Brown — ran uncontested and won re-election with 100 percent of the votes.
“I am not trying to induce anyone to vote for me, they just need look around and see the degradation,” Granados said of his campaign and The Woodlands. “Just look at the traffic, it will only get worse. I do have the intention to do something (in regard to campaigning) in the next few weeks. My name is still (on the ballot). My only interest is to serve the area where I live. This area has been degraded in the past several years. I am trying to save the habitat where I live for everybody. I am just trying to do the right thing.”
The only campaign activities Granados said he has engaged in are talking to his immediate next-door neighbors. He added that he refuses to do any other typical campaign activities such as make signs, buttons or attend meet and greets. Granados did say he has had meetings with Montgomery County commissioners Charlie Riley from Precinct 2 and James Noack of Precinct 3, as well as having discussions on community issues with Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner Jack Cagle, who represents The Village of Creekside Park, the only area of The Woodlands not located inside Montgomery County. His top issues, he added, are to stop deforestation of the community due to over-development of land so that “foxes, deer and birds” can return to the area and be enjoyed by local residents.
“This is an unpaid position for two years, which you go there and serve the community and do the best you can,” Granados said. “It is a community service, not a political position. I have more time (to campaign) and will be doing that in the next two weeks.”
The township board election is Tuesday, Nov. 5, with early voting having already started on Monday, Oct. 21, and continuing through Friday, Nov. 1.