Mayor of La Marque faces recall election this November

Here's what we know

LA MARQUE – The city of La Marque Mayor Keith Bell is facing a recall election this November.

Bell has been on the city council since 2004, he then served as interim Mayor before being formally elected to the position in 2021.

“(He) operates in the shadows and (is a) 20-year career politician, and it’s time to clean up the city,” said La Marque resident Joseph Lowry.

Lowry is the architect of a push to see Bell recalled from the office. In a notarized affidavit for the recall, Lowry, in broad strokes, accuses Bell of everything from verbal abuse to outright criminal activity.

“He’s not honest with the public. He screams transparency, but he’s not transparent at all,” said Lowry.

Bell fired back, calling Lowry’s accusations nothing more than a personal vendetta stemming from last year’s turnover in leadership at city hall.

“There’s no proof of these allegations made against me,” said Bell. “Everybody didn’t like the hard decisions that had to be made to move our city forward, and sometimes when that happens, people get vindictive and retaliatory.”

Lowry said he once supported the Mayor but claims Bell changed after becoming Mayor.

“He asked me to, me and my fiancé, to set up business accounts in his wife’s name and his daughter’s name to go after bond money that was coming into the city,” said Lowry.

Bell said he is very familiar with the accusations and questions why Lowry has offered no proof to support his claims.

“At that moment, he has a personal experience with a sitting mayor that says clearly that the sitting mayor is corrupt, but he doesn’t record it. He doesn’t advance the conversations. He doesn’t go get the bank accounts. He doesn’t find his obligation in any way to bring any evidence,” said Bell. “There is no proof of these accusations. There will never be proof of these accusations because it is untrue.”

Lowry did tell KPRC 2 that he did not record his encounters with Bell on this particular point.

To trigger a recall, 51% of the people who voted in the last election have to sign a petition. Lowry said 543 signatures were deemed valid and enough to get the recall on the Nov. 8 ballot.

However, Bell claims the DA’s office is now investigating whether some of those signatures were fraudulent. When KPRC 2 spoke with officials at the Galveston County DA’s Office, we were told given the proximity to the election that they are not going to confirm or deny whether any investigation is underway.

Galveston County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar, Cheryl Johnson, was unavailable for comment.

About the Author:

Award winning investigative journalist who joined KPRC 2 in July 2000. Husband and father of the Master of Disaster and Chaos Gremlin. “I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee.”