Winkler County Sheriff Darin Mitchell has formally withdrawn his endorsement of State Representative Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa) citing a news report by Texas Scorecard describing a series of text messages and other leaked information that indicates Landgraf may be engaging in “sexual impropriety and having extramarital affairs,” – and further stated that if the allegations prove true that Landgraf needs to “resign immediately” 

Sheriff Mitchell recently joined three other sheriffs’, including Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis, Ward County Sheriff Frarin Valle, and Andrews County Sheriff Rusty Stewart, in jointly endorsing Landgraf for re-election, the day before multiple stories broke online on Wednesday alleging that Landgraf has been involved in scandalous activity. 

Citing a news report by Texas Scorecard, Sheriff Mitchell wrote in an email to Landgraf that he understands “these are only allegations and not proven,” however, the Sheriff wrote he “cannot and will not endorse anyone that has allegations as these.” 

The sheriff went on to state that if the allegations are proven to be false, he hopes there will be some repercussions to the source of the allegations. 

However, the sheriff also wrote that if the allegations prove to be true, then “you (Landgraf) need to resign immediately.” 

Email from Winkler Co. Sheriff Darin Mitchell to State Rep. Brooks Landgraf withdrawing his endorsement. Photo: Odessa Headlines

Odessa Headlines spoke with Sheriff Mitchell who confirmed he sent the email and added that he really likes Representative Landgraf and still likes him, citing the good work he has done for the county and hopes this is all cleared up. 

Sheriff Mitchell also stated that he doesn’t plan to make any other endorsements in this race or in any other race this election. 

Texas Scorecard reported that a variety of leaked text messages “seemingly reveal Odessa Republican Brooks Landgraf’s sordid relationships,” with one affair being alleged to have occurred with a staffer in his office. 

The messages, appear to occur over both text messages and social media accounts, including what appear to be photos and an audio message from Landgraf.

According to Texas Scorecard, the first report of the allegations was published by Current Revolt, an online news and satire website that is known for having exposed other scandals by state lawmakers in recent years. 

Despite the significance of the allegations, Landgraf has maintained public silence on the issue and reportedly has not responded to media requests for comment. 

Landgraf faces challenger Casey Gray, a retired military veteran in the March 1, Republican Primary election. 

With redistricting, House District 81 will be comprised of Ector, Winkler, Ward, and Loving Counties. Andrews County, which was formally a part of HD-81, will now be a part of HD-88.

Matt Stringer

Matt Stringer is from Odessa, Texas, and serves as the Editor for Odessa Headlines.