GOP Victoria sheriff candidates debate
May 9, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.
Learn more about the candidates below.
Editor's note: The Advocate is profiling candidates in the May 29 primary election. This profile features candidates for the Republican Party nomination for Victoria County Sheriff. The winner will not have a Democratic Party challenger in the November general election.
Two Republican candidates will vie for the position of Victoria County sheriff in the May 29 primary elections.
Newcomer B. Scott Hornstein, 53, will face incumbent T. Michael O'Connor, 57.
O'Connor was sworn in as sheriff in January 2005.
During his time in office, O'Connor has dealt with a number of high-profile criminal cases.
"While we've made great strides together at the sheriff's office, there is still much to do. Public service is more important than politics to me, and people deserve a sheriff's office that is the best it can be," said O'Connor, who has more than 30 years of business and law enforcement experience. "As sheriff, I am committed to making a positive difference as we work to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow."
In addition to having a degree from Texas A&M and a master peace officer certification, O'Connor credits his countless hours of certified law enforcement training, supervisory skills and real-world experience managing people, finances and resources as attributes that have helped him in his position.
Hornstein also comes from a law enforcement background.
In addition to attaining a master's peace officers certificate, Hornstein worked at the Victoria County Sheriff's Office for 15 years.
While at the sheriff's office, Hornstein moved through the detention division, courts, warrants, patrol, gang intelligence, training, eventually attaining the rank of sergeant.
He is licensed as a reserve deputy constable with Precinct 3.
"I feel it is time for a fresh set of eyes on the issues related to law enforcement in Victoria County. It has been a goal of mine for a long time and I want to give back to the community that I have grown up in," said Hornstein. "I want to work to regain the trust of all the people in Victoria County and create a good working relationship with all concerned. In addition, I want to attempt to restore the morale of the department employees."
Both candidates have expressed priorities they want to tackle upon getting elected.
By focusing on the ABC issues of accountability, budget and crime, O'Connor said he would like to focus on three key organizational goals: refining department operations to increase efficiency; increasing capabilities to positively impact this part of Texas; and building sustainability to ensure a modern and professional sheriff's office for the future.
Meanwhile, Hornstein, who vowed to be conservative in the managing of any fiscal affairs, said his focus lies on increasing personnel in the special crimes unit with emphasis on the issue, as well as working with the people in all areas of Victoria County.
Both candidates expressed a desire to tackle the gang and drug problems in the area as well as maintain an open-door policy.