County judge candidate Brown withdraws after indictment
Dave Rogers / For The Record
Don Brown, the Democratic candidate for Orange County judge, announced late Friday he is ending his run after being indicted this week on a felony charge of injury to a child.
“I’m withdrawing from the Orange County County Judge race effective immediately to refocus on rebuilding my personal and business life,” he said.
Brown, owner of a mortgage company in Vidor, and his husband, Daniel Spencer, were each charged with felony injury to a child, which is punishable by between 180 days in state jail up to 99 years or life in the state prison.
Brown says he and Spencer are innocent of harming the child they were raising under a custodial agreement with a birth parent.
He said Child Protective Services was called by Vidor school officials twice to investigate purple bands on the child’s backside, the first in late 2016, the second early last year.
Brown said he was told by a school nurse that the child had the symptoms of something called allergic purpura and the injury was more of a viral rash.
He said CPS cleared the couple after the first time and he believed all was in order again until he heard of the indictment Thursday.
“I’ll bet they did not present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury,” Brown said, “that the CPS forensic scientist in Austin ruled this was a medical reaction, not from physical abuse.
“We actually received a letter saying we had been cleared. That was a year and a half ago. The second person never did an actual investigation.”
Brown was set to take on Republican Dean Crooks in the Nov. 6 general election.