By Tommy Mann Jr. – For The Record

The 2016 election year looks to be a big one and it all begins with the March Primary elections.

Filings for the March Primary elections begins Saturday, Nov. 14 for candidates in  Orange County who want to run for office. Interested candidates may file with the county chairperson of the Democratic Party and Republican Party. The filing period ends on Monday, Dec. 14.

There are several county positions which candidates can file for this coming election year, including Orange County Sheriff, which is currently held by Keith Merritt.

Two of the four positions for Orange County Commissioner are open for filing as well. The Precinct 1 position will surely draw interest as current Commissioner David Dubose announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election. The Precinct 3 seat, which is held by John Banken, is also slated to be on the ballot.


All four Orange County Constable positions are also open for filing. Current Constables are Chris Humble, Precinct 1; David Cagle, Precinct 2; Mark Philpott, Precinct 3; and Weldon Peveto, Precinct 4.

Other positions available for filing include Orange County Attorney, currently held by John Kimbrough; Orange County Tax Assessor/Collector, held by Lynda Gunstream; and Orange County Clerk. The clerk position was previously held by Karen Jo Vance and is currently open. This is for a two-year term to fill the vacancy.

Also including in the filing period is the Orange County Second Court at Law seat, currently held by Judge Troy Johnson, as well as seats in the Orange County 128th District Court and 163rd District Court, held by Judge Courtney Arkeen and Judge Dennis Powell, respectively.

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.