Babin meets with constituents on Monday

Published 8:58 am Wednesday, July 12, 2017

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


It was a political day on Monday as Congressman Brian Babin sat down with members of the chamber board, ambassadors and city council members on Monday to answer questions. Following the event, it was the July Ice Cream Social hosted by the Orange County Republican Party at the Bridge City Community Center.

County Judge Stephen ‘Brint’ Carlton announced he will seek re-election in 2018.

City of Pinehurst Mayor Pete Runnels also recently announced he will run for County Judge in 2018.

Carton released the following statement:

People of Orange County, we have made incredible strides together to improve our community. In fact, the level of success we have seen was claimed to be impossible without raising the tax rate or cutting services, neither of which we did. These accomplishments include increasing the County fund balance by millions of dollars, modernizing the energy usage of our buildings, beginning new forms of insurance to protect us from costly litigation, providing the first raise to our employees in four years, placing the County benefits on a sustainable and fiscally sound trajectory, restructuring and refocusing the Orange County Economic Development Corporation, and purchasing over a million dollars in new equipment, vehicles, and systems. We did all of this WITHOUT RAISING THE TAX RATE and by PLACING THE TAXPAYERS FIRST! This is how a truly fiscally conservative and limited government is supposed to run. We are on the verge of something very special and Orange County cannot afford to return to the tax-and-spend practices of the past where the taxpayers were treated as an unlimited piggy bank. That is why I humbly request your support and vote as I SEEK REELECTION IN 2018 TO CONTINUE SERVING YOU AS ORANGE COUNTY JUDGE!

Former Orange Councilmember Theresa Beauchamp also confirmed she will run for Commissioner Pct. 2 seat in 2018. The seat is currently held by Commissioner Barry Burton who also recently announced he will seek re-election.

“I am in it to win it,” Beauchamp said. “Orange County needs help. We need the EDC. I am for transparency, accessibility and a full time commissioner.”

Prior to the Ice Cream Social, Babin did answer questions presented to him by council members and chamber members such as what was he doing to ensure the millennial generation had the stepping stones to become involved in politics.

“I encourage everyone, millennials and others to become involved,” Babin said. “It is through leadership and the Can Do of America.”

A woman said she was concerned universities were not teaching history.

“Universities are being taken over by people who do not believe in our history,” She said. “Those getting four year degrees are not business owners.”

Babiin said student debt is a killer.

“For a dental student, when they graduate, they are looking at over $200 thousand in student loans,” Babin said. “The current amount of student debt is $1.44 trillion.”

Babin also said he does not always push for the four year degree. There are jobs paying self sufficient wages with training available at trade schools.

Another woman present said while college is a wonderful thing, it is becoming the new high school with so many jobs requiring an associates degree to be considered for hire.

“You see generation after generation on public assistance,” she said. “Assistance is to move forward. We have the most low to moderate income housing. We have enough.”

Babin said it is rewarding people for bad decisions and punishing those making good decisions.

“I believe we have to help our fellow man,” Babin said. “We need to have work requirements. If they are able to work, they need to be looking for jobs. I agree we need a safety net for children, disabled and our vets. America has always been known to be hard workers.”

Babin encouraged people to write their state senators and representatives.