Chambers County Sheriff Brian Hawthorne has officially filed for re-election, ensuring he will be on the ballot in the Chambers County Republican Party primary this March.
“As the Chambers County sheriff, I am committed to the safety of our communities and proud of our violent crime arrest success,” Hawthorne said. “I feel blessed to have a team that has a 100% murder clearance rate by solving every homicide in our jurisdiction since I have been elected sheriff. A special thanks to our Chambers County law enforcement partners: Baytown and Mont Belvieu police departments, along with the Department of Public Safety who have all helped in keeping our county safe and a wonderful place to live.”
Hawthorne has spent practically his entire career as a law enforcement professional. He was with the Texas Department of Public Safety for 28 years before being elected as sheriff in 2012.
Supporters of Hawthorne say there are many reasons people should vote for him.
Barbara Ponder, Barbers Hill ISD assistant superintendent of personnel, has many reasons of her own to vote for Hawthorne.
“I can summarize it into three areas,” Ponder said. “The first of which, he serves as sheriff with the highest integrity. I watched how he handled some pretty difficult cases and issues that came up in Chambers County, such as homicides. He is poised and articulate. He runs things the way you would want if you are a family that had something horrible happen. You know he is going to conduct the investigation with grace and using his knowledge base.”
Ponder said Hawthorne is great when it comes to crisis situations.
“During Harvey and Imelda, he was able to mobilize people and delegate folks,” Ponder said. “He provided a safety background so that people’s homes were not looted. He knows how to get ahold of the appropriate resources to help the people in our county. I’ve seen FEMA and the National Guard set up shop here, and we were able to accommodate them. His ability to show strong leadership and organization and think through all of the aspects of doing this is tremendous. Thanks to him, I think we have been able to recover faster than some other counties.”
Former Pct. 2 Commissioner Larry George is also throwing his support behind Hawthorne.
“Brian is a perfect fit for sheriff in Chambers County,” George said. “He is an exceptional sheriff with valuable connections at state, federal, and international levels. He is also accessible 24/7. He answers the phone and is always there when you need him. From a commissioner’s perspective, he came to court with issues, but he also came with solutions.”
Two candidates are challenging Hawthorne in the March GOP primary. One is Bert Whittington, a K-9 officer with the Harris County Pct. 3 Constable’s office. The other is Wes King Jr., who worked at the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office before being let go in 2018. After an appeal, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement later changed King’s general discharge to an honorable discharge.
In order to be on the November ballot as the Republican candidate for sheriff, one of the three has to earn a majority of the vote or 50.1%. If not, the top two vote getters head to a runoff in May.
The deadline to file for the March primary ballot is Dec. 9.
Hawthorne touts many accomplishments under his leadership, saying the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office has matured into a modern-day law enforcement organization with many new programs. Some of the programs Hawthorne said he has included under his watch are crime scene investigators, evidence technicians, school safety deputies, marine and environmental deputies, along with deputies that specialize in mental health crisis stabilization.
Hawthorne is also an active member of the Barbers Hill Lions Club, Bridgehaven Child Advocacy Center, and the Winnie-Stowell Noon Optimist Club and currently serves on the board of the West Chambers County Chamber of Commerce. He serves as chairman of the Sheriffs’ Association of Texas Advisory Committee to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and is the vice-chairman of the association’s influential legislative committee.
Hawthorne and his wife, Heather, Chamber’s County Clerk, reside in Beach City. They have four children and one grandson.