6 statewide races, 1 local runoff to be decided

Published on Saturday, 17 May 2014 23:30 - Written by From Staff Reports

Smith County voters will decide seven Republican and Democratic primary runoffs on May 27, but early voting begins Monday at five countywide locations.

There are six statewide races and one local primary to decide.

Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday.

Smith County early voting locations include the Election Office, 302 E. Ferguson St.; The Heritage Building, 1900 W. Bellwood Road in Tyler; Noonday Community Center, 16662 County Road 196 in Tyler; Lindale Masonic Lodge, 200 Margaret St. in Lindale; and Whitehouse Municipal Court, 311 E. Main St. in Whitehouse.

Voters can cast ballots at any of the five locations during the five-day early voting period.

The runoff for lieutenant governor between Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick, of Houston, tops the statewide GOP ballot.

Dewhurst is reeling from his loss to Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate but hoping to extend his decade-long tenure at the Senate’s helm. Patrick has tapped into the state’s conservative movement aiming to purify the GOP of what they consider “moderates.”

Dewhurst is on their hit list but is touting Texas’ place at the top of the economic ladder nationally. Patrick believes Dewhurst has allowed Democrats too much influence in a Senate where Republican numbers dominate.

The race to replace Attorney General Greg Abbott, who won the Republican nomination for governor, pits two state representatives who are attorneys by trade and want to be the state’s top lawyer — Dan Branch and Ken Paxton.

The race for Agriculture Commissioner features two former state representatives. Former District 7 representative Tommy Merritt, of Longview, will face Sid Miller, of Stephenville.

Another area legislator made a primary runoff for Railroad Commissioner. Wayne Christian, of Center, will face Ryan Sitton for a place on the regulatory board.

Democrats will choose their nominee to face U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the November election. The race features Dallas dentist David M. Alameel and candidate Kesha Rogers.

Comedian, writer and political activist Richard “Kinky” Friedman faces Cleburne farmer Jim Hogan.

The winners of the primary runoffs will face opponents in the Nov. 4 general election.

In Henderson County, Kevin Pollock and Dale Blaylock are vying for the Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace position and Kelly Harris and Ken Geeslin are running for the Precinct 4 county commissioner Republican nomination.