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There will soon be a new sheriff in town for Orange County

Sheriff Keith Merritt is retiring after serving for ten years

ORANGE COUNTY, Texas — Orange County will soon have a new sheriff in town. 

Current Sheriff Keith Merritt announced he is not seeking re-election in 2020 opening to door for a new sheriff after more than a decade.

Sheriff Merritt was elected in 2009. 

Two republicans are vying to replace Merritt — Rob Strause and Jimmy Lane Mooney. 

No democrat is running in the party primary, meaning whoever wins the republican primary will be the next sheriff of Orange County. 

Strause has 23 years of law enforcement experience. He's currently the lieutenant over the Orange Co. Sheriff's Office Narcotics and Vice related division. 

His other notable roles include a stent with the Sour Lake Police Dept., the Orange County District Attorney's office and he served as Orange Co. Constable for precinct 2. 

Challenging Strause is Jimmy Lane Mooney.

Credit: KBMT

Mooney is the current constable for precinct 4 in Orange County. 

Mooney has 30 years of law enforcement experience. He is the director of the Vidor Chamber of Commerce and has previously been a non-commissioned officer with the Texas Military Dept. Mooney is also an Orange Co. business owner. 

The sheriff's race is one of three hotly contested races voters in Orange County will be deciding on Super Tuesday. 

Incumbent Orange Co. Judge John Gothia is facing republican challenger Ernest Bayard. 

Gothia was appointed county judge in July 2019. He was selected by commissioners after two previous judges resigned. 

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The other race getting a lot of buzz in Orange County is the race for district judge. 

Two republicans — Rex Wayne Peveto and Michael Catt — are in a tight match-up to replace retiring Judge Dennis Powell. 

Judge Powell has led the 163rd Judicial District for nearly 20 years. 

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