Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Tuesday is Primary Election Day

Tuesday, March 5, is primary Election Day in Texas with a local Republican race drawing national attention with a fiercely fought race for the Orange County state representative’s seat. Incumbent representative Dade Phelan, who serves a speaker of the Texas House of Representatives is being challenged by David Covey.

Phelan led the house’s successful impeachment of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for accusations of misdoings. The Texas Senate did not impeach him.

Covey, a former Orange County Republican chair who lives in Mauriceville, has the endorsement of Paxton and former President Donald Trump. Local officials have endorsed Phelan, saying his influence in Austin has helped the county get new industries and funding on public projects, including Lamar State College-Orange.

The county will have 23 boxes on primary day and any registered Orange County voter with proper identification ma vote at any of the boxes, instead of only at an assigned neighborhood box. Hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The county elections administration office and the county commissioners court worked for several years with the Texas Secretary of State to get the new system approved. It will save costs on paying election workers for more boxes and make voting more convenient.

Only Republicans are running in local races, a complete change made after 2012, when local candidates all ran in the Democratic primary.

The race for Orange County Sheriff has drawn four to the ballot, with incumbent Jimmy Lane Mooney, who is seeking his second four-year term having three challengers. They are Ron Dischler, a lieutenant with the Beaumont Police Department and longtime Orange County resident; Mike Sanchez, chief of the Vidor ISD Police Department, and retired Texas Ranger Bobby Smith. All county voters may cast a ballot in the race.

In Precinct 2, incumbent constable Jeremiah Gunter is facing Harold Hass and David C. Bailey. Only voters living in the precinct vote for the spot.

In the Vidor area and Precinct 4, incumbent constable Matt Ortega is being challenged by Joey Jacobs.

The OC Republican Party chair spot is also hotly contested, with incumbent Leo Labauve III, who opposed the local group’s successful vote to censure Phelan for his actions against Paxton, facing Cheryl Warren, who has been endorsed by Paxton. Warren has also started the local School Integrity Project, which is monitoring books in schools that they consider immoral.

Early voting will continue for Wednesday, February 28; Tuesday, February 29, and Friday, March 1, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sites are the Orange County Airport, Mauriceville Community Center, Orange Public Library, and Vidor’s Raymond Gould Community Center. Registered county voters may go to any site.

As of Monday, February 26, after six days of early voting, the Republican primary had a total of 5,756, with in-person votes at 5,577 and absentee mail-in votes at 179. The airport box had 1,302 votes, the Mauriceville box had 698, the Orange box had 1,335, and the Vidor box had 2,242.

In the Democratic primary, 340 votes had been cast with 269 in-person and 71 absentee mail-in votes. The airport box had 43 votes, the Mauriceville box had 13 votes, the Orange box had 153 votes, and the Vidor box had 60 votes.


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