Making West U the Best Place to Live

Dear Neighbor:

A resident recently forwarded me the following text they received: “West U citizens will vote for Mayor and Councilmembers on May 6. Do you believe Susan Sample has done a good enough job as Mayor to deserve reelection or do you think it’s time to give someone else a chance? Reply 1 for Susan Sample, Reply 2 for someone else. Stop=end”

Apparently, this text was anonymously sent on Monday night to a number of West U residents on their cell phones, which is highly disturbing. Anonymous polling, paid political consultants, purchased information and other “hired gun” tactics have no place in West U, which prides itself on being a small town, a Neighborhood City where we care for each other and where the “politics as blood sport” all too often seen at the state and national level is something we do not accept or condone.

Following our community’s understandably negative reaction to this text, I have been made aware of efforts, presumably by the actual authors of the text, to spread a rumor that I, or someone acting on my behalf, had something to do with it. This is a calculated falsehood, and those who are spreading it, regardless of their position in our community, are either being reckless with the truth or are deliberately misinforming you. 

However, many of you may remember that such unsavory tactics were used by a political consulting firm named Axiom Strategies, LLC on behalf of one of the political action committees (PACs) that sullied our election in 2021. Indeed, Axiom’s own website boasts of their use of such tactics. A copy of the Campaign Finance Report filed by one of the 2021 PACs is attached for your convenience, and clearly shows both Axiom’s involvement in that election and on whose behalf. Regrettably, those who benefitted from those shadowy tactics two years ago, and who clearly still neither understand nor care about what West U is supposed to be, have apparently decided to repeat them now. Our City, our residents, and our neighbors, deserve better.

For my part, I have never used such tactics, and I have never allowed them to be used on my behalf. I never will. I am a 20-year, third-generation resident of West U, who loves this City and is running to represent my fellow residents. I neither need nor will tolerate such conduct in my campaign. I take great pride in the fact that I won re-election in 2021 by the simple but essential act of personally knocking on doors, meeting you and listening to your concerns, and spending less than $900 altogether. My all-volunteer 2023 campaign consists entirely of me, my campaign treasurer, and a friend who has kindly offered her time to help me with my e-mails, Facebook posts and website. Period. I have no PACs backing me, no consultants, no strategists, no pollsters, and no opposition researchers, because running an honest, local campaign to be your Mayor is far more important to me than simply winning at all costs. Because those are the values that make West U what it is, the best place to live in America.

If you would like to file a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission, please visit the TEC website.

To my fellow candidates for office, Susan Sample, Clay Brett, Shannon Carroll, Matt Hart, Buckley Morlot, and John Montgomery, I hope that you will join me in pledging neither to use such tactics nor to allow them to be used on your behalf, so that our residents can benefit from a campaign and an election that reflects the best in our community and in ourselves.

Please know I am always available to talk with you about my campaign for Mayor and the state of our City. You can send me an email or reply to this one, and it will go directly to me. I read and respond to all messages that come in.

Your Neighbor,

John P. Barnes