Bobby Smith ready to take reins as Orange County sheriff

Published 12:20 am Thursday, March 21, 2024

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After 29 years in law enforcement, Bobby Smith is ready to take on the job of sheriff for Orange County.

His near three decades in law enforcement, plus experience working with local, state and federal agencies will likely help in his new position.

He has worked with different sheriffs and offices through the years and has seen what works and what doesn’t.

He’s seen prosecution, worked with Texas Division of Emergency Management through natural disasters and worked through two legislative sessions where he analyzed bills to make sure they were beneficial to law enforcement.

“I want to bring those resources, everything I learned and utilize those right here in Orange County,” Smith said.

As sheriff, Smith’s primary goal is to make Orange County Sheriff’s Office the premier law enforcement agency for Southeast Texas.

He will do this through training, education and recruiting qualified applicants that are right here in Orange County, Smith told Orange Newsmedia.

There are currently 138 full time positions in the Sheriff’s Office, including the sheriff. Smith spoke of his campaign platform; to keep the schools, churches and local businesses safe as possible while working on stopping the flow of drugs that is running through local communities.

Interstate 10 moves though the county and Smith isn’t naive on what travels through.

“Drug interdiction, human trafficking, sex trafficking. We have a nexus to the border and I-10 is a major pipeline right through Orange County,” he said, adding law enforcement needs to be aware and work to keep it from spreading across the United States

Smith also wants to make sure his employees have a positive environment. For that he wants to employ those who have a vested interest in Orange County, but the Sheriff’s Office, as well.

This includes improving moral. He wants employees to feel secure and provide them with training and resources needed to be successful in their career and jobs.

Election win

Smith performed strong in the March Republican primary ballot, coming in with 56.09 percent of the votes cast, thus topping incumbent Jimmy Lane Mooney, who had 28.93 percent.

Mike Sanchez brought in 10.30 percent, and Ron Dischier secured 4.67 percent of the votes cast.

There was no Democratic candidate.

Smith is a shoe-in for the seat in November’s election, barring any last minute independent candidate to the ballot who would then have to beat Smith.

With that rare scenario likely out of the picture, Smith would officially take office Jan. 1, 2025.


Smith started his career in law enforcement with the Texas Department of Public Safety. Once he graduated from the DPS Academy in Austin, he was stationed in Orange County.

He moved on to become a state trooper and was later promoted to highway patrol sergeant.

Then came a promotion to Texas Ranger.

He worked his way up the ranks, to lieutenant, captain and, eventually, major.

He retired Aug. 31 ,2023, and soon began on the political trail seeking the sheriff’s position.

— Written by Mary Meaux