Former councilwoman Beauchamp challenges Burton
By Dave Rogers
For The Record
A familiar name in Orange County politics is lining up to take on incumbent Precinct 2 County Commissioner Barry Burton in the March 2018 Republican primary election.
Teresa Beauchamp, a retired school administrator who was an Orange city council member from 2005 through 2015, announced her intent to enter the race Monday when she filed papers to name a campaign treasurer.
On June 30, Mauriceville native Burton announced his intent to run for re-election.
“I was expecting I have an opponent,” he said. “I’m willing to stand on my record.”
Were Beauchamp to triumph over Burton, she would be the second woman in her family to be a county commissioner. Her mother, Marcelle Adams, was the first female to serve as an Orange County commissioner, when she served two terms in the 1980s.
“We have all these resources that are not being utilized. People who work for the county are being treated poorly. I want to be fair to all county employees.”
In announcing his plans to run for a second four-year term, Burton said, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Orange County and my precinct for the last two and a half years.
“We have made great strides in organizing and structuring our county budget and operations to be sustainable and cost effective in the long term.
“We have made some hard decisions but the root and motivation for each of those decisions is focused on taking care of your tax dollars and working with resources already available at the county.
“There is still work to be done, and I ask that you let me continue to represent you with the same energy and passion for another term.”
Beauchamp said she worked in administration for 20 combined years in Vidor, New Caney and Bridge City school districts before retiring. Then she said she was immediately re-hired by West Orange-Cove and spent 11 years there as a principal before retiring again five years ago.
A member of Delta Kappa Gamma educators’ sorority, Beauchamp is a board member for the Friends of the Orange Depot and president of the Ivy League Garden Club.
She and husband Frank have one son, Brad, and three granddaughters. Beauchamp said the words “accountability, accessibility, honesty and transparency,” were her touchstomes.
Prior to his 2015 election to commissioners court, Burton ran an environmental abatement and remediation company and was an industrial consultant.
Since joining the court, economic development of Orange County is Burton’s focus, he said.
He is executive administrator to the Southeast Texas Economic Development Foundation, he said; a vice president on the board of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation; and second vice president on the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission.
As a county commissioner, Burton has been involved in restructuring the county’s EDC and he claims responsibility for bringing aboard executive director Jessica Hill.
Under Hill’s leadership, last month the EDC received six inquiries from businesses looking for a place to spend a combined $7 billion for new plants that would create up to 1,000 jobs.
“We’ve spent a lot of time restructuring the EDC and one of the best things we’ve done is to get Jessica Hill away from Jefferson County,” Burton said.
“Now we need to get her more tools.”