By Tommy Mann Jr. – The Record

The filing period for the March Primary elections has become very active in the past week.

Seven incumbents and four new candidates have come forth in the past week to file for a spot on the ballot in the Republican and Democratic Primary elections, which are scheduled to take place in March 2016.

The Republican Party in Orange County has basically had all of the activity since filing began on Nov. 14.

Two incumbents, Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt and Orange County Attorney John Kimbrough, have filed for re-election to their respective positions. Both have switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party for the 2016 Primary.

All four Orange County Constables, Chris Humble, Precinct 1; David Cagle, Precinct 2; Mark Philpott, Precinct 3; and Weldon Peveto, Precinct 4; have filed for re-election on the Republican ballot and are currently unopposed.

John Banken, Orange County Commissioner of Precinct 3, has filed for re-election and is currently unopposed on the Republican ballot. In Precint 1, new candidates Shirley Zimmerman and Johnny Trahan will face off in March to hopefully fill the seat being vacated by current commissioner David Dubose.

Judge Troy Johnson is seeking re-election to the Orange County Second Court at Law seat, while Judge Courtney Arkeen and Judge Dennis Powell have filed for re-election to their positions in Orange County 128th District Court and Orange County 163rd District Court, respectively.

Two new candidates have filed for spots on the Republican ballot for the Orange County Tax Assessor – Collector position, Debbie Meaux and Karen Fisher. The seat is currently held by Lynda Gunstream (Democrat) who has announced she will retire.

Brandy Robertson has officially filed for the Orange County Clerk position on the Republican ballot in 2016, as well. Robertson was appointed the position by Orange County Commissioners Court following the departure of Karen Jo Vance. This seat is for the remaining two years of the term and will be on the 2018 ballot as well.

Sheila Faske has filed to retain her position as Orange County Republican Chairperson and is unopposed.

In the Orange County Democratic Party, there is only one position currently set for the March 2016 ballot.

Deborah Mitchell, the current Orange County Democratic Chairperson, will be opposed by new candidate Don Brown for leadership of the local party.

The filing deadline for the March Primary elections is at 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 14, 2015.