By: Jessica Shorten
The County Judge race in Montgomery County has shaped up to be one of the more interesting races on the ballot this year, but Dr. Billy Graff is hoping to stand out to voters as the right choice in the three-way race.
Dr. Graff previously ran for Precinct 1 Commissioner in 2020, but after losing that race, threw himself into the local Republican political scene. A co-owner of Montgomery County Podcasts and founder of the non-profit iConnect Outreach, Graff has spent the majority of his life working with people. Prior to his career with the public, Graff served with the U.S. Marine Corps for four years, and began a real estate development company.
It is his longstanding career on the citizen side of public service that Graff thinks makes him the perfect fit as the next County Judge, “When it comes to the County Judge position, I really feel like it’s just a great opportunity to extend my passion for service. One of the things a County Judge should be is a servant to the people.”
The County Judge is not only the presiding officer of the Commissioner’s Court, but a key member of a number of agencies within the County including Emergency Management, Homeland Security, Indigent deaths, juvenile justice, and despite not presiding over any official judicial business, they are also a member of the Board of Judges.
“Emergency Management has got to be one of the highest priorities. We do have lots of storms, and we have lots of situations in this part of Texas,” said Graff. “For me, the number one thing for me is to ensure that the public is safe and secure in emergency situations.”
However, Graff wants to ensure the other boards the County Judge is a part of are well-equipped with qualified personnel, “You want to ensure you have good board leadership in all these locations. Good employees in those areas,…and it’s really key to stay in contact, stay in touch with all of these departments,” explained Graff. “It’s a team effort.”
As for presiding over the Commissioners’ Court itself, Graff feels like the current overall structure of the meetings is run well, however, more time should be given to discuss a large number of topics not just with fellow court members, but the citizens as well, “I would like to see how we could get the community to come in and take more part in that.”
One of the biggest challenges facing Montgomery County is growth, and Dr. Graff is looking forward to tackling the issue from all sides of infrastructure, water, and law enforcement.
“We’re outgrowing our infrastructure…we’re behind,” expressed Graff. “We need to take the studies and turn them into plans.”
“It’s not about what’s absolutely best for just the developers, but what’s best for the citizens, and how we can work in harmony to manage the traffic flows, the flood mitigation, and all the things that come with it,” stated Graff.
You can view the full video of the interview below: