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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Orange County's Covey to challenge Phelan,

Others announce for local races

 

Last updated 6/13/2023 at 6:23pm

Texas Speaker of the House Dade Phelan

Though filing is still months away, candidates are already announcing their runs for local offices in the 2024 Republican primary races.

Last week, David Covey of Mauriceville, a former Orange County Republican chair, announced he will run for the District 21 Texas Representative seat currently held by Republican Dade Phelan of Beaumont, who currently serves as Texas Speaker of the House.

District 21 includes Orange County and Phelan is the first local state representative to reach that level of power in the state.

Recently, Phelan has come under state and national criticism for overseeing the Texas House of Representatives impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton under accusations that included bribery, misapplication of public funds, and dereliction of duty.

Former President Donald Trump has even criticized Phelan and the house.

Covey, in his announcement for the position said, "Elections are about choices, and primaries are about deciding who we are as Southeast Texas Republicans and Conservatives. I realize this is a David and Goliath type of situation, but I will keep focused on my message, work hard to earn your support, and leave the choice to the voters.

"Republicans have proven that conservative ideas work for strong families, work for strong borders, and work for a strong economy. The recipe for success is not a mystery, we just have to have the boldness to fight and defend our Republican values and not surrender to liberal Democrats."

So far, two people have announced they are running against Orange County Sheriff Lane Mooney, who is serving his first term in office. Mooney has not announced his intentions for the election.

Ronald Dischler, a lieutenant with the Beaumont Police Department and longtime resident of Orange County, will be running for sheriff.

The other announced candidate is veteran law enforcement officer Mike Sanchez of Vidor, who has held a number of positions with different law agencies.

Three incumbents up for reelection have made their intentions to retire at the end of their current terms and candidates have announced for their positions.

John Kimbrough, whose official title is Orange County Attorney, but he also serves as the district attorney, will be retiring when his current term ends on December 31, 2024. He will have been in the position for 32 years, or eight terms, making him one of the longest-serving county officials in local history.

David Covey

Longtime Assistant District Attorney Krispin Walker, a prosecutor in the 163rd District Court who has gained a reputation for convicting numerous child sexual assault cases, said she is running for the position. State law requires the position be held by a licensed lawyer. Walker is a native of Orange and still lives there.

Also, County Court-at-Law Judge Troy Johnson will be retiring after 20 years on the bench. Rodney Townsend, a Bridge City lawyer, said he will be running in the primary to replace Johnson.

County Tax Assessor-Appraiser Karen Fisher will also be retiring at the end of 2024. Octavia Guzman, a clerk in Fisher's office for 11 years, plans to file for the primary race.

The 2024 primary races in March, followed by the general election in November 2024, will have the four county constable positions, one for each precent. The ballots will also include races for Precinct 1 and Precinct 3 county commissioners, seats currently held by Johnny Trahan and Kirk Roccaforte.

 

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