Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader
This week’s freezing temperatures has forced the Orange County Republican Party to reschedule its much anticipated candidate debate.
The Orange County Republican Party has rescheduled its debate for the four candidates seeking the office of Orange County Judge to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the Raymond Gould Community Center, 385 Claiborne in Vidor. The event was originally scheduled this past Tuesday, but Mother Nature had other plans with the arrival of a second ice storm in less than a week.
The debate will feature several recognizable figures in local politics through the years in Orange County. These candidates are John Dubose, Mike Hamilton, Mike White and Brint Carlton.
Dubose, 67, is the former Orange County Commissioner of Precinct 3. Hamilton, 52, is the former State Representative of District 19. White, 58, is the former Sheriff of Orange County, and Carlton, 31, works for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The candidates are all seeking the Republican Party nomination for Orange County Judge, and, as it turns out, the actual position which has an annual salary of $85,000 per year. Carl Thibodeaux, the current Orange County Judge for nearly 20 years, announced in the fall of 2013 he would not seek re-election and there is no Democratic opponent.
According to Zach Johnson, chairperson of the Orange County Republican Party, this debate is expected to be the first of two in Orange County with the second to be scheduled at a later date. The second tentative debate is expected to be held on the east side of Orange County.
“We didn’t want to worry about people being out in the weather this past Tuesday, so we rescheduled it for this coming Tuesday,” Johnson said. “We know it is important for the public to get the opportunity to meet all of the candidates and be able to ask questions and hear what they have to say.”