Victoria sheriff announces re-election bid

Sonny Long

Nov. 28, 2011 at 5:28 a.m.

Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor

Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor

Victoria County Sheriff T. Michael O'Connor has announced his bid for re-election in 2012 and he will have a challenger in the Republican Primary.

O'Connor, 57, has been sheriff in the county since 2005. He will be challenged in the primary by former deputy sheriff Scott Hornstein, 52.

O'Connor, in a news release on Monday, noted that in addition to leading a Sheriff's Office with 184 employees and a $12.6 million annual budget, he also oversees the 532-bed Victoria County Jail.

"Being a sheriff in the 21st Century requires keen supervisory skills and real-world experience managing people, finances and resources. Serving as sheriff, along with a lifetime of working in my family's businesses and on public boards, has allowed me to hone these skills," O'Connor said in the news release.

Hornstein, a purchasing agent for a gas compressor company, as well as the deputy constable in Precinct 3, said he is seeking the office of sheriff, in part, because he wants to get back into law enforcement full time.

He has been a licensed peace officer since 1987.

"My goal has always been to be sheriff," said Hornstein, who was a full-time sheriff's deputy for 10 years and a reserve deputy for five. "I want to make the office more accessible to the citizens of Victoria County."

O'Connor said he has stuck to the basics during his time in office.

"As sheriff, I've stuck to the core 'ABC' issues of Accountability, Budget and Crime that I originally ran on. When I put on my badge, I'm accountable not only to myself and my fellow officers, but also to the whole community.

"Our county has seen some tough financial times, and I've taken care to ensure that our office uses resources wisely. I'm also proud of how we work as a team with local, state and federal law enforcement to keep our county safe," O'Connor added.

A graduate of St. Joseph High School, O'Connor earned a Bachelor's Degree from Texas A&M University, and holds a Master Peace Officer Certification.

He has extensive public safety experience, having worked in law enforcement for about 35 years in South Texas. O'Connor has also completed thousands of hours of certified law enforcement training in areas such as patrol, supervision, criminal law, jail operations, ethics, investigations and professionalism, according to the news release.

O'Connor has been married for more than 30 years to LuAnn O'Connor, a nationally-recognized local Realtor. They are active in numerous civic and community organizations and have two children.

"While we've made great strides at the sheriff's office in the past seven years, there is still much to do. I believe that public service is more important than politics, and that the people of our county deserve a sheriff's office that is the best it can be," O'Connor said in the news release.

"As sheriff, I'm committed to making a positive difference as we work to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow," O'Connor said.

O'Connor's official paperwork will be filed Tuesday with Victoria County Republican Party chairman Michael Cloud, said the sheriff.

In addition to the sheriff candidates, two incumbent Republican Victoria County constables also filed Monday, James Calaway, Constable, Pct. 2 and John Miller, Constable, Pct. 4, according to an announcement by Cloud.

Monday was the first day candidates could file for the March primaries.



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