Big Seats Up for Grabs in Local, Statewide Election Runoffs
Today is voting day and this is your right and chance to get your voice heard. Even though it will be hot there today, it’s important to exercise your right to vote. The polls opened at 7a.m. this morning and will remain open until 7p.m. tonight. So get out and vote.
Expect long lines at the polls. Not only are we voting on the replacement for Kay Bailey Hutchison, but we have a run-off for Sheriff in Smith County, a Supreme court seat and Texas Railroad Commission.
Here is a look at some of the elections East Texans are voting on today:
Voters will select Republican and Democratic nominees to go head-to-head in November. The most high-profile race has been for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate between Gov. Perry-endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and tea party candidate Ted Cruz. The race is being watched nationally as a measure of tea party strength against the GOP. One of theses candidates will be replacing Kay Bailey Hutchison.
There also are statewide runoffs in races for two seats on the Texas Railroad Commission, and one seat on the Texas Supreme Court.
For the Democratic nomination, former Texas State Rep. Paul Sadler of Henderson faces retired teacher Grady Yarbrough of Tyler.
Smith County: The big news is the run-off between Larry Smith and Chris Green for Smith County Sheriff. J.B. Smith has been the Smith County Sheriff for 35 years.
Gregg County: The Republican Party race for Pct. 3 commissioner between incumbent Gary Boyd and Joe Parker. Gregg County election officials reported 3,168 early walk-in votes.
Harrison County: Be prepared for long lines today at the polls, after “unbelievably high” early voter turnout in the Republican primary. Harrison County election administrator Daniel Teed reported 4,958 early votes cast.
Rusk County: Voters will select a Republican nominee for sheriff between runoff candidates Jeff Price and Darryl Norris. The winner will face Democratic Party nominee Oscar Still on Nov. 6.
Rusk County Republicans also will make a decision on the District 11 state representative race, where incumbent Chuck Hopson is challenged by Travis Clardy.
It is the only runoff election for the state Legislature in Northeast Texas, for a seat in a district redrawn during the recent redistricting process.
Elections office reported it received a total 2,631 early votes (walk-in and mail-in); with officials characterizing turnout as “about normal.”
Upshur County: Incumbent sheriff Anthony Betterton faces his toughest challenge in more than a decade from Longview police officer Larry Webb.
For Pct. 1 Commissioner, Republicans will chose between incumbent James Crittenden and challenger Paula Gentry. There are no Democratic Party nominees for either position.
Elections officials reported brisk early voting, with 1,791 early votes cast in the Republican primary and 22 Democratic votes.