Filing to run in party primaries for Orange County offices will end on December 9. This year, the county will have an unusual year with two countywide positions being on the ballot at the same time.
County offices have four-year terms and the spots of sheriff and county judge are staggered every two years.
However, the county judge’s spot will be on the ballot in 2020, even though it was also on the ballot in 2018. The reason is because Dean Crooks resigned as county judge earlier this year and John Gothia was appointed. The election will be for the unexpired term with two years left.
Longtime sheriff Keith Merritt has announced he is retiring at the end of his current term, so candidates will not face an incumbent.
The primary elections will be March 3. Candidates must file under a party to run in the primary. The party chairs are in charge of filing. David Covey is the Republican Party chair and Louis Ackerman is the Democratic Party chair.
January 1 will be the first day voters may submit an application to receive a ballot by mail.
February 3 is the last day to register to vote in the primaries.
February 18 will be the first day for early in-person voting and February 28 will be the last day of early voting.
-Margaret Toal, KOGT-