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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

Sheriff, constable races draw challengers for 2024


Last updated 11/21/2023 at 7:01pm

Orange County Sheriff Lane Mooney

Orange County will have a four-way race for sheriff as incumbent Lane Mooney fends off three challengers in the Republican Primary. Other challenged local races will be for constable in Precincts 2 and 4.

County Republican Chair Leo LaBouve said filings will continue until December 11, but he thinks most of the candidates have filed. County Democratic Chair Jack Smith said he doesn't expect any people to file in that party's primary, which means whoever wins the local Republican nominations will run unopposed in the 2024 general election, unless an independent late files.

The party primary races will be Tuesday, March 4. Voting registration for the election ends on February 5. Candidates file with the party chairs, who oversee the elections.

Incumbent Sheriff Mooney has filed for his second term in office. Challenging him will be Ronald Dischler, a longtime Orange County working for the Beaumont Police Department. Also, Bobby Smith, a retired Texas Ranger, and Mike Sanchez, police chief for the Vidor ISD.

For Precinct 2 constable, incumbent Jeremiah Gunter has filed for re-election. He is facing challenges by retired law officers Harold Hass and David Bailey.

Precinct 4 Constable Matt Ortego is being challenged by Joey Jacobs, currently a captain with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Incumbent constables Lannie Claybar in Precinct 1, and Brad Frye have filed and so far have drawn no opponents.

Others who have filed in the Republican primary are Octavia Guzman for County Tax Assessor-Collector. Incumbent Linda Fisher is retiring. Also county commissioner incumbents Johnny Trahan in Precinct 1 and Kirk Roccaforte in Precinct 3. The other two precinct commissioners will be up for election in 2026.

Longtime Assistant District Attorney Krispen Walker has filed for district attorney after incumbent John Kimbrough announced he would be retiring at the end of his current term.

Bobby Smith

County Court-at-Law Judge Troy Johnson will also be retiring and Rodney Townsend has filed to run. State 163rd District Judge Rex Peveto filed for re-election. LaBauve said the 128th District judge's position is on the ballot this year and he expects incumbent Judge Courtney Arkeen to file.

LaBouve has been accepting filing forms at the Orange County Republican Party headquarters in shopping center at 260 Strickland Drive in Pinehurst on Monday, December 11, from 3 to 6 p.m, which is the deadline for filing.

In addition, LaBouve will be running for re-election and so far has drawn no challengers.

Filings for state and national offices are made through the Texas Republican Party based in Austin.

Democratic Chair Smith said Orange County locally has switched to all candidates running as Republicans, just as they once ran only as Democrats for decades. "If you want the job, you call yourself anything you want to be elected," he said.


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