B.A., Liberty University; Master’s in Criminal Justice, University of Houston – Downtown
KEY HEALTH LINK
As sheriff, Nehls was vocal about his community’s mental health needs, saying that it is inhumane that our society uses jails and prisons as “de facto mental health centers.”
Sheriff of Fort Bend County (TX), 2013-2020; Constable for Fort Bend County (TX), 2004-2012
2020 ELECTION CONTEXT
Nehls received the most votes in the 2020 Republican primary, and then defeated Kathaleen Wall in a runoff election.
Pete Olson (R), retired
MOST RECENT PROFESSION
Sheriff of Fort Bend County (TX)
Nehls was most recently Sheriff of Fort Bend County (TX). Nehls was serving in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan during his first campaign for constable in 2004. His identical twin brother, Trevor, ran his campaign. He served as constable through the end of 2012, and he began his service as Sheriff of Fort Bend County on January 1, 2013. In 2019, he announced his candidacy to represent the 22nd district.
On The Issues
Nehls has supported the following of CDC guidelines during the pandemic. The Fort Bend County Police Department provided residents with disinfectant upon request in March 2020. Nehls also implemented the You Are Not Alone program, connecting volunteers with senior citizens in the area that needed assistance throughout the pandemic.
On his campaign website, Nehls said, "I will work to increase health care offerings while protecting those with preexisting conditions, protecting Medicare and Social Security, protecting Medicaid, and protecting private insurance. We need more health care options, not less and that's what I'll work to build bipartisan support for."
In response to a neighboring county implementing reduced charges those found in possession of less than four ounces of marijuana, Nehls said, "You come into Fort Bend County with a couple of ounces of marijuana, and you get caught with it, you are going to jail."
MENTAL HEALTH AND ADDICTION
While Sheriff, Nehls said that mental health was the "biggest issue" in Fort Bend County. He touted his department's Crisis Intervention Team for helping prevent suicide and criticized the existing system for using the county jail as a "de facto mental health provider," saying, “These individuals don't belong in our county jail.” Nehls said that, "I think that just as human beings, for humanity['s] sake, we have to do better when it comes to people that are suffering.” Nehls also used his platform as sheriff to host a mental health summit, saying that, “We need to have a serious discussion in this country about America’s mental health.”
Under then-Sheriff Nehls, the Fort Bend County Narcotics Task Force was active in seeking to stop street-level drug dealing, including the proliferation of opioids. After a May 2017 bust where a variety of drugs were located, as well as paraphernalia indicating production and distribution of drugs, Nehls said, "These drugs were likely intended for young adults in our area...We'll continue to aggressively go after those that seek to harm our youth."
VETERANS HEALTH CARE
From Nehls' campaign website: "Our men and women in uniform risk life and limb in service to our country. We owe it to them to ensure they have adequate health care services when returning home. Dozens of Veterans are committing suicide every day. That is completely unacceptable. We must provide Veterans with access to the best mental and physical health services. We must also ensure the VA health care system is running efficiently and serving all Veterans who come through the door."
Nehls is pro life. In April 2020, his campaign website said, "It is abhorrent that our country allows the murder of hundreds of thousands of babies each year. A life is a life regardless of its stage. In Congress, I will fight to defund Planned Parenthood, support conservative pro-life Justices to the Supreme Court, participate each year in the March for Life, and protect all life giving a voice for the voiceless."
OTHER HEALTH CARE ISSUES
DID YOU KNOW?
Troy’s identical twin Trevor succeeded him as constable of Fort Bend County, and won the Republican nomination to succeed him as the sheriff of Fort Bend County in March 2020.