SUBSCRIBE NOW

Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 6¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

Newly formed Horseshoe Bay PAC steps into contentious mayoral race

Donald Beeman and Elsie Thurman

Horseshoe Bay mayoral candidates Donald Beeman and Elsie Thurman are locked in a controversial race to serve as the city’s fourth-ever mayor. Staff/courtesy photos

The latest in a series of controversies in the Horseshoe Bay race for mayor is the formation of a political action committee and its high-dollar campaign ad that accused one of the candidates of criminal activity. 

In an Oct. 17 mailer to residents, Safe and Beautiful Horseshoe Bay PAC alleged criminal misconduct by candidate Donald Beeman while stating that “no issues were found” in its investigation of opposing candidate Elsie Thurman, the city’s current mayor pro-tem.

One accusation claims financial misconduct by Beeman while working in the private sector. He and his twin brother own HeartBrand Cattle, which raises Akaushi cattle for meat. 

Beeman called the allegations baseless.

“I’ve never had a fraud charge or a tax charge in my life,” he told DailyTrib.com. “I have filed taxes every year. In fact, I have filed a whole lot of taxes throughout the years.”

Beeman declinted to go into more detail regarding other allegations.

“None of this bothers me,” he said. “I’m not going to go explaining myself, because that’s what they want me to do. I’m not going to chase them.”

The accusatory mailers are just the latest development in over a month of contentious campaigning that began with an anonymous letter sent to Horseshoe Bay residents on Sept. 13. The letter charged Beeman with erecting unlawful campaign signs, making illegal campaign promises, and not attending the city’s Citizens Academy. 

On Oct. 6, Horseshoe Bay Resort owner Jordan Jaffe revoked Beeman’s resort membership and banned the entire Horseshoe Bay Property Owners Association Board of Directors from resort facilities. Beeman is president of the POA. An email to the POA claimed Beeman and the board had failed to pay appropriate dues or follow quality standards outlined in the POA charter’s bylaws.

Beeman responded to Jaffe’s accusation on Oct. 18 during a POA member meeting.

The embattled mayoral candidate accused the resort owner and incumbent Mayor Cynthia Clinesmith, who is not seeking re-election, of being behind the political action committee.

“It’s Jordan Jaffe and the mayor who are on the backside (of this PAC),” he said. 

Clinesmith denied any involvement with the PAC.

“I don’t know who’s writing those (mailers),” she said. 

The PAC’s flyer named Austin-based attorney John Buxie as the contact person and included his phone number. DailyTrib.com made multiple calls to Buxie while reporting this story but received no response. Similar inquiries to Jaffe were also unsuccessful.

Filings with the Texas Ethics Commission, the entity charged with overseeing political campaigns in the state, indicate Buxie is the treasurer of the PAC. 

nathan@thepicayune.com