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By Margaret Toal
For the Record 

WO-C seeking $72 million for new pre-school,

Bridge City mayor draws opponent


Last updated 2/22/2024 at 12:48pm

The West Orange-Cove school district will have a $72 million bond issue on the May 4 election for city councils, school boards, and special districts.

However, the only contested races will be for Bridge City mayor and for directors of the Orange County Drainage District.

The cities of Orange, West Orange, Pinehurst, and Vidor are able to cancel council elections because of no contested races. In addition, the Bridge City and WO-C school boards, along with the port district, have no contested races. The LC-M district offices are closed for winter break and no one was available to answer whether that district has a contested race. Orangefield's school board election is in November.

The May elections are not to be confused with the March 4 party primary races for county, state, and federal government positions. Early voting started this week for those races.

In Bridge City, Mayor David Rutledge is facing challenger Carl Harbert, a former council member. The three open positions on the Bridge City City Council drew no opposition. Gina Mannino is running alone for Place 2 after Mike Reed did not run. Incumbents Patty Collins in Place 4 and Sherby Dixon in Place 6 filed with no opposition.

For the Orange County Drainage District, incumbent James Scales for Precinct 3 is facing Seth Mize, and Precinct 2 incumbent Larry Ancelot is being challenged by Richard Capaldi.

The WO-C school board called for the bond election earlier this month. The main project of the proposal is to construct a new North Early Learning Center, a school on Cordrey Avenue that is 60 years old. In addition, the district wants to improve security, buy new school buses, and do other improvements on campuses.

According to information from the school district, no increase in property taxes will be needed because of the district's current tax base and valuations. However, state election regulations require the district to advertise a property tax increase. State law also requires that homeowners age 65 and older not have property tax increases for school bonds.

The district's two trustee positions, though, will not be on the ballot because incumbents Roderick Robertson and LaTricia Stroud are running unopposed.

The Orange County Navigation and Port District has incumbents Walter Mullins III in Precinct 2 and John Montagne in Precinct 3 drawing no opposition.

The city of Orange will have a new Single-Member District 1 councilor with Matt Chandler. He drew no opposition as the incumbent, David Bailey is currently running for Orange County Precinct 2 Constable and did not file to run for reelection. Also, Mayor Larry Spears Jr. did not draw an opponent.

At West Orange, incumbent city council members Mike Shugart Sr., Lanie Brown, and Jay Odom are unopposed. Pinehurst has Mayor Sarah McClendon, along with incumbents Cynthia Adams, Greg Willis, and Joey Vance running unopposed.

The Vidor City Council has incumbents Nicole McGowan in Ward 2 and Michael Thomas in Ward 3 are unopposed, along with newcomer Mikayla Bourgque for Ward 5 after the incumbent for that spot, Gary Herrera, did not run.

The Bridge City ISD board has incumbnets Paul Zoch and Judy Cole running unopposed.


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