OPINION: How far will Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs go to win an election?

By: Catherine Venketramen
| Published 11/01/2023


How far will Dr. Shelley Sekula-Gibbs go to win an election? Well, we already know that lying and grandstanding are common for her. But what is new in her arsenal is copyright infringement and libel.

Sekula-Gibbs' attacks against opposing candidate Tricia Danto are unwarranted for a local, nonpartisan election. Sekula-Gibbs took a copyright-protected photo of Beto O'Rourke and a picture of Danto from her Facebook page, and created an image to portray the two together. In a separate image, Sekula-Gibbs went a step further, changing the color of Danto's dress, from red to blue, and added campaign buttons to portray that Danto is at an O’Rourke event with him. The original photo of Danto is attached to this document as proof that Sekula-Gibbs' doctored photo of her standing with O'Roarke is a fake. Then, Sekula-Gibbs lists O'Rourke campaign verbiage and states that Danto agrees with him. Danto has never met O'Rourke, never spoken or written about support for him, and certainly didn't vote for him. Danto's attached voting record proves that.

Sekula-Gibbs went too far when this week she texted a message stating that Danto supports defunding police. Danto's first job was as an Intern with the Houston FBI. Her father, brother and sister have served a combined 65 years in federal law enforcement. Danto strongly supports law enforcement and first responders, which is how she earned the endorsement of The Woodlands Professional Firefighters Association. This text message, sent to thousands of residents, was a blatant lie. Is it now okay for candidates to simply make up facts about their opponents? These nasty attack ads are reminiscent of City of Houston elections. Perhaps Sekula-Gibbs forgets which city she's running to represent? After all, she's not lived in The Woodlands that long, she's obviously still learning how we behave north of the big city.

It is notable that Sekula-Gibbs backed out of the Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum the day of the event. Perhaps she didn’t want to answer concerns Bruce Tough's recent 2023 The Woodlands Township Board Directors Election Canddiate Analysis highlighted when he concluded that Sekula-Gibbs "doesn't meet criteria" to serve another term on The Woodlands Township Board of Directors. These Photoshoped mailers and text messages sent by Sekula-Gibbs aren't fair. Sekula-Gibbs thinks she doesn’t have to abide by election rules or answer to voters.

In The Woodlands we're all neighbors; it's part of what makes our hometown special. We are a family of residents who all want the same things, a safe and well-maintained city to raise our families, work, and play. Sekula-Gibbs' behavior is not reflective of our shared Woodlands values. After two terms as a director, if this is all she has to offer, Sekula-Gibbs doesn't deserve to represent our hometown.

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