BEEVILLE – As of the close of office hours Monday, a total of 823 Bee County voters have cast ballots in the Democratic and Republican primary elections.
According to the county clerk’s office, 280 have voted by personal appearance in the Democratic primary and 213 have voted in the GOP election. Mail-in ballots have been returned from 272 Democrat and 58 Republican voters.
Early voting will conclude at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28. It’s currently being held weekdays at the Bee County Courthouse from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., including the noon hour.
Election day is Tuesday, March 4, and voting locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The polling places will be listed in the weekend edition of the Bee-Picayune.
Highlighting local contested races, Dennis DeWitt, the incumbent, and Raul “Rudy” Garcia are running for county commissioner, Precinct 2, on the Republican ballot.
Vying for county commissioner in Precinct 4 are Fred Stark and incumbent Ken Haggard on the GOP ballot, and Ronnie Olivares and Dela Cagle Castillo on the Democrat side.
Mirella Escamilla Davis, the incumbent, is being challenged by Ami Salazar Fernandez for county clerk on the Democratic ballot.
Two justice of the peace races will be contested by the county’s Democrat voters.
In Precinct 1, Susana Salazar Contreras, Efrain (Cowboy) Ibarra and Vicente G. Barrera are the contestants to replace Raul Casarez, who is running for county judge. In Precinct 3, David Gutierrez will face Abel Suniga, the current officeholder.
Texas has open primaries, meaning a voter can cast a ballot in either party’s primary, regardless of whether he or she has voted in that party’s primary before.
Candidates must receive more than 50 percent of the vote to be nominated. If no candidate gets more than 50 percent, there will be a runoff on May 27.
Voters are reminded that if they sign a petition for a candidate, then they shall vote in that party’s primary. They cannot cross over to vote in the other party’s runoff election.
Registered voters in these primary elections must show a valid photo ID, according to Texas law—not the voter registration certificate as in past elections.