Orange County commissioners Tuesday appointed Dean Crooks to take over early and fill out the remaining eight-month term left vacant by the resignation of County Judge Stephen Brint Carlton.

It is expected that Crooks could be overseeing Commissioners’ Court meetings as soon as next week.

Crooks defeated Carlton in March’s Republican Party Primary as voters favored the political newcomer by a 20-percent margin over a second term by Carlton. Crooks had expected to take over in January, 2019, after November’s general election.