Orange County sheriff seeks third term

Sheriff Keith Merritt

Orange County Sheriff Keith Merritt is seeking a third term as sheriff in the upcoming elections and kicked off his campaign for re-election on Nov. 17, 2015.

Merritt took office as sheriff on Jan. 1, 2009, but his career in law enforcement that began in 1979 when he started as a Reserve Deputy for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Merritt also served as Constable for Pct. 1 in Orange County for fourteen years. He is certified as a Master Peace Officer with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

From 1989 to 2004, Merritt was trainer and handler for Orange County K-9’s Ali and Thor.

“This was a very rewarding experience for me,” Merritt said of his experience with the drug dogs. “The K-9 program was a huge success for area law enforcement and the citizens of Orange County, confiscating over $8,000,000 worth of narcotics and properties.”

During his time with the K-9 program, Merritt brought Ali and Thor to Orange County schools for drug awareness education, performing more than 300 demonstrations and reaching more than 30,000 students.

Merritt is a veteran of the U.S. Army where he served honorably as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.

“I am very excited about kicking off my campaign to be re-elected for a third term as your Orange County Sheriff,” said Merritt. “I have the experience, knowledge and desire to carry out the duties of Sheriff. I sincerely care about the citizens of Orange County, the dedicated employees at the Sheriff’s Office and all Orange County employees that share the same desire to be a public servant.”

Merritt is running on the Republican ticket this time around and will face Golden Triangle Militia leader David W. Smith for the Republican nomination in the March 2016 primary election.