Check Out the Jefferson County Judges Race


Q2: Jefferson County factories consistently rank among the top emitters in Environment Texas’ annual reports. Are there any steps the county could take to force these factories to do better?

Q3: As we envision an energy transition, how will you make Jefferson County an attractive place to build bridges and alternative fuels?

Q4: An election administrator has been a talking point in the last budget conversations by at least one member in this race. Do you think the county needs an election administrator? Why or why not?

Q5: The county is part of the largest national coastal restoration project, has led flood buyouts, home raises and other flood mitigation projects – what’s next for the county in terms of resilience?

Jeff Branick (I)

Membership: Republican

Age: 64

Occupation: current judge of Jefferson County; lawyer

Highest level of occupancy continued or completed: JD from Baylor University in 1984

Previous volunteering, sponsorships or elected office (up to 3):

  • Approved by Governor Greg Abbott
  • Approved by the Beaumont Police Officers Association and the Beaumont Firefighters Association
  • Approved by the Sabine Region Central Labor Council

A1: First, I have extensive experience in emergency management, having served as an incident commander in many natural and man-made disasters including hurricanes, factory explosions, pandemic, train derailments, pipeline ruptures, every other type of emergency that we have in Southeast Texas. Second, I have a law degree and handle over 3,000 cases a year and my opponent doesn’t have that legal training, education or experience and won’t be able to have the jury trials that I have. Then I was the president of the commissioner’s tribunal for 12 years and I understand all the state laws and federal regulations that govern our operations.

A2: We continue to work with local factories and TCEQ to ensure that steps are taken to put in place appropriate pollution control devices. We work with the regional planning commission and industry groups to monitor air quality. Our air is better ozone wise than other areas of Texas and we are an area of ​​low air quality and have seen reductions in air pollutants of over 60% over the of the last 10 years and much more than that in the last 30 years. years. The improvement (has) been extremely dramatic. When I was a little boy growing up here the air was palpable and the water quality wasn’t as good as it is.

A3: We have a number of green projects coming into Jefferson County – approximately $80 billion in new industrial infrastructure that is either underway right now or will start in a year or two and we are creating more jobs than any comparable sized county in Texas. Our main objective right now will be to ensure that we focus on education and training so that people can fill the jobs that are going to be there. We have the Diamond Green diesel project being built at the Valero refinery which will use animal cannons to create fuels… We continue to have conversations with carbon sequestration companies and wind companies and companies interested in settling in our region. However, I continue to believe that fossil fuels will be the backbone of our energy sector for the foreseeable future.

A4: The majority of county clerks in Texas also serve as election administrators. The two people currently running for county clerk have raised no objections to serving as election administrators. That would be an additional cost to taxpayers of at least $2.1 million for an election administrator, and as long as the county clerk can perform those duties, I think that’s the role they should be playing.

AT 5: I’ve been working with FEMA for three years trying to redo the federal rules for home elevations and what’s called the substantial damages rule so that we can make sure our new housing stock is built at or above above an elevation that will make it safe from any future natural disasters. We are actively seeking Disaster Recovery Grants, Building Resilient Infrastructure and Community Grants, and Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants for structures that have experienced repetitive flooding…I have worked working closely with Senator (John) Cornyn to secure the $888 million appropriation for the Southern County Hurricane Dike Augmentation. We will continue to work on many drainage projects designed to direct water, particularly in the town of Beaumont away from the Taylor Bayou watershed and into the Neches River where we have more capacity.

Caroline Guidry

Membership: democrat

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired Former Jefferson County Clerk

Highest level of occupancy continued or completed: A year and a half of study at Durham Business College from 1973

Previous volunteering, sponsorships or elected office (up to 3):

  • Previously elected four-term Jefferson County Clerk
  • Volunteers for the local chapter of the NAACP
  • Volunteers for Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church in Beaumont

A1: One thing that sets me apart is that I am not a lawyer. I think we have too many lawyers in Beaumont. I’m more of an administrator and I proved that when I took over the office as county clerk. Even though my background has been (more) in communications, I was able to go there and administer over 35 employees, I managed a budget of (approximately) $3 million per year, so I think I’m a good administrator. I’m a good listener and I think I’m more outgoing than my opponent.

A2: One of the things I would like to set up would be an environmental working group – I think it is inherent in us to follow what is happening with plants. For example, when TPC had this explosion, what a lot of people didn’t know (is that) TPC had several violations cited by the EPA before that. So I think it’s very inherent in us to stay on top of what’s going on in the factories, what the EPA files when they do their testing or assessments…and I think we could avoid some of the things that are happening as far as our environment goes with all these plants here.

A3: I should do some research and get help from people who are more knowledgeable about this particular process than me. But I think with the right people in place, in Jefferson County, we can definitely take the lead in whatever needs to be done here for our county.

A4: I really think the county needs an election administrator, I pushed for this for 16 years. An election administrator is a non-partisan person who administers elections rather than having two elected on the process. Right now you have the county clerk who administers the elections, and then you have the tax accessor voter registrar who is responsible for the voter registration database. With an election administrator, this job would be combined into one office with one goal, and that is to be non-partisan to have ethical and fair elections and to make sure the citizens of Jefferson County have places to voting accessible with respect to all Texas election code guidelines.

AT 5: I think our biggest project that I know of at the moment would be the expansion of our port facilities. It’s very important and essential for the financial well-being of (our county) so that some of the larger ships can still come here and we are still able to service those ships because we are, I think, the second largest port in the United States. United States, particularly because we are a military port. I think it is very important that we continue to invest and ensure that the enlargement project that is coming up in the next two years, that we monitor it and ensure that it has been beneficial for our county.

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