The 2022 Orange County Election is off and running.
Theresa Beauchamp announced Tuesday she will not run for reelection as County Commissioner for Precinct 2.
Chris Sowell of Mauriceville, president of the Mauriceville Heritage Association, followed up her announcement during a Commissioners Court meeting by taking the podium and announcing he will be seeking that empty seat.
“When elected,” Sowell said, “I look forward with working with the Commissioners and other county officials to continue to move the county forward in a positive manner than benefits all of the county residents.”
A day earlier, Shawn Hare, a local rancher and fifth-generation Orange County resident, had thrown his hat in the ring for the $74,256 per year job to represent a precinct that stretches from east Vidor to Highway 62 and the northern county line.
In April, Mauriceville gun store employee Tim McCarver turned in paperwork to designate a campaign treasurer for a run for the Precinct 2 seat.
McCarver confirmed Tuesday that family health concerns had forced him from going forward.
Both Sowell and Hare say they will run as Republicans.
“We have a lot of expansion coming our way in Orange County and I feel like we’re poised for an economic explosion,” said Hare.
Chevron Phillips Chemical and Entergy are considering plant expansions that could create as many as 17,000 temporary jobs over the next 5 to 7 years and news on a medical center at Highway 62 and Interstate 10 is expected any day.
“It’s important for Commissioners Court to prepare Orange County both with infrastructure and planning for that construction,” Hare said.
Beauchamp is a former Orange city councilwoman and the daughter of Orange County’s first female commissioner, Marcelle Adams. She defeated incumbent Barry Burton by two votes after a recount of the 2018 election totals.
“After much thought and many prayers, I have decided not to seek reelection,” she said Tuesday afternoon.
“At this time, my family needs my time and attention. And I have three small grandchildren that live in Houston that I would like to see more than I get to.”
The County Commissioners’ four-year terms don’t officially end until Dec. 31 of the even-numbered years and begin on Jan. 1 of the odd-numbered years.
Precincts 2 and 4 (Robert Viator’s Commissioner there) are up for reelection in 2022.
But often, lame-duck Commissioners step aside early (before Dec. 31) if someone else wins their seat.
The semi-unique feature of Orange County is that it is so dominated by the Republican Party that often – usually – no Democrats register to run and everything is decided in the GOP primary in March.
The primary election for the Nov. 1, 2022 election is March 1.
Appointing a campaign treasurer is the first step in running for office and required of candidates seeking to raise money for county, state and federal office.
A run for office is not completely official until candidates file for a place on the ballot with their party and the deadline for that filing isn’t until Dec. 13.
One other county elected official, Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Joy Dubose-Simonton, will have a familiar foe. Candice C. Steele, who ran unsuccessfully against Dubose in 2014 has filed her fundraising papers.
Written by Dave Rogers