By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

The deadline for filing for the March 2016 Primary elections is fast approaching and some last minute additions are possible.

The deadline to file for the March Primary elections is 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14, with either the chairperson of the Orange County Republican Party or Orange County Democratic Party.

As of Tuesday, Dec. 8, there are five contested races for the Orange County Republican ballot and only one on the Orange County Democratic ballot.

Races for the Republican Party nomination include several high profile contests, including incumbent Sheriff Keith Merritt who will be opposed by new candidate David Smith.

Orange County Commissioners Court will have two races as new candidates Shirley Zimmerman and Johnny Trahan vie for the Precinct 1 seat, which is being vacated by David Dubose, and, in Precinct 3, incumbent John Banken will be opposed by new candidate John Gothia.

The Orange County Constable race for Precinct 4 will have incumbent Weldon Peveto being contested by Jimmy Lane Mooney, and the race for Tax Assessor-Collector will feature candidates Debbie Meaux and Karen Fisher on the ballot.

Unopposed races, at this time, include Chris Humble, Precinct 1 Constable; David Cagle, Precinct 2 Constable; Mark Philpott, Precinct 3 Constable; John Kimbrough, Orange County Attorney; and Brandy Robertson, Orange County Clerk.

Other unopposed races on the Orange County Republican Ballot, as of Tuesday, include Troy Johnson, Orange County 2nd Court at Law; Courtney Arkeen, Orange County 128th District Court; Dennis Powell, Orange County 163rd District Court; and Sheila Faske, Orange County Republican Chairperson.

Faske will be at Faith Christian Academy, which is located at 390 S. Archie St. in Vidor, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14, to accept last minute applications for the Orange County Republican Party ballot.

The Orange County Democratic Party has seen very little movement during the month-long filing period.

As of Tuesday, there is only one contested race on the Democratic ballot for March 2016 and that will feature Deborah Mitchell, the incumbent Chairperson of the Orange County Democratic Party, against opponent Don Brown.

Interested candidates may call Deborah Mitchell, Orange County Democratic Chairperson, at 409-779-1744, or Orange County Republican Chairperson Sheila Faske at 409-769-5051 for more information.