Bayard seeks County Judge position

Published 8:03 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020

By Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

Ernest Bayard may have been spared the wrath of Imelda, but he is familiar with the natural disasters which have struck the area in recent years.

Prior to moving to the Vidor area around 1994, Bayard lived in Nederland.

“I was born in Beaumont and raised in Port Arthur,” Bayard said.

Approximately a year after moving to Vidor, he started Bayard Farms, a blueberry and fresh egg farm.

He announced his intentions to run for county judge the same day Dean Crooks resigned from the position.

“It was a coincidence that I was there to announce the same day he resigned,” Bayard said.

This is not the first time Bayard has sought a position, he also ran for Vidor School Board. While he did not receive the votes to win the election, he believes he has the opportunity to win in the countywide election.

Bayard said he feels he has the qualifications needed for county judge.

“I have the heart,” Bayard said. “And the ability to be diligent in my duties. I want to help the citizens of Orange County.”

Bayard, who will turn 78 on March 3, the date for the Primary Elections, admits he was a Democrat for the first 73 years of his life.

“I switched because Trump made me a believer,” Bayard said. “If he can do it, I can do it. He is a businessman and I am a blueberry farmer.”

Bayard also added he has a great deal of respect for the previous county judge, Carl Thibodeaux.

“I feel if Thibodeaux can do it, it is a challenge to me,” Bayard said. “To be overwhelmed by his capacity for the vote.”

Bayard adds he is not taking away from his candidate, John Gothia.

Bayard believes more needs to be done for the county concerning security and drainage.

The county judge is both presiding officer of the commissioner’s court (Tex. Const. Art. V, Sec. 18) and judge of the county court (Tex. Const. Art. V, Sec. 15). As such, the judge is often thought of as the chief executive officer of the county, according to the 2018 Guide to Texas Laws for County Officials.

Ernest Bayard, a Republican, is running against John Gothia, also a Republican, for Orange County Judge. Primary Election is March 3, 2020.