Early voting begins in Caldwell County
By Wesley Gardner
Early voting started on Tuesday in Texas, with polls opening up across the state for voters to cast their ballots in the March primary.
Early voting will last for 10 days, ending on Feb. 28. For Texans who don’t want to cast their ballots early, the state’s primary election day is March 3.
Texas has open primaries, which means voters don’t register with a party ahead of an election. Instead, voters choose which party’s ballot they want at their polling place. They can’t, however, vote in both the Republican and Democratic primaries in the same election.
Residents must vote at a location in the county they live in and must bring a valid photo ID.
Early voting will be available at the Caldwell County Scott Annex Building – 1403 Blackjack St., Lockhart – and the Luling Civic Center, 333. E. Austin St., Luling.
Hours for both locations will include 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 18-21, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 22, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23, and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 24-28.
The elections consist of a slew of local, state and federal contests mainly aimed at securing each major party’s nominees for the upcoming November election.
At the federal level, U.S. Senator Cornyn is defending his seat in a heavily contested field on both sides of the aisle. The Republican senator has four GOP challengers attempting to secure the party’s nomination, including Dwayne Stovall, Mark Yancey, John Anthony Castro and Virgil Bierschwale.
The Democrat’s field is even more crowded, with 12 individuals running, including Jack Daniel Foster Jr., Sema Hernandez, D. R. Hunter, Adrian Ocegueda, Mary “MJ” Hegar, Chris Bell, Royce West, Michael Cooper, Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez, Amanda K. Edwards, Annie “Mama” Garcia and Victor Hugo Harris.
U.S. Representative Michael Cloud (R-27) is running unopposed for his party’s nomination but could face Democratic challengers in either Ricardo “Rick” De La Fuente or Charlie Jackson.
U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-35) will be facing off against Rafael Alcoser III for his party’s nomination. On the Republican side, Nick Moutos, “Guillermo” William Hayward and Jenny Garcia Sharon will compete against one another for the GOP nomination.
At the state level, Incumbent State Representative John Cyrier (R-17) is running unopposed for his place on the Republican ticket. He will face off against Democratic challenger Madeline Eden in November.
Incumbent State Senator Judith Zaffirini (D-21) will take on Republican challenger Frank Pomeroy in November.
Locally, the most heavily contested race will be to fill the vacancy left by outgoing Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel C. Law. Republicans Mike Lane and Ray Chandler will be running for the GOP’s nomination, while Hector Rangel and Alberto Luna will be running facing off for the Democrat’s nomination.
Incumbent Caldwell County Tax Assessor-Collector Darla Law is running unopposed for the Democrat’s nomination, leaving her to face off against GOP challenger Debbie Cortez Sanders, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination.
There will only be one contested race for a seat on the Caldwell County Commissioners Court this year. Incumbent Republican B.J. Westmoreland, running unopposed for his party, will take on Democrat challenger James “Jimmy” Bertram, also running unopposed, in November for the precinct 1 commissioner position.
Republican incumbent Precinct 3 Commissioner Edward “Ed” Theriot doesn’t have any challengers on either side of the aisle, so he automatically retain his position on the commissioners court.
Only one Caldwell County constable position will be contested in this year’s primary election. Incumbent Precinct 2 Constable Tom Will will face off against Jeffrey Alexander for the Republican nomination. Nobody is running for the Democrats, so whoever wins will take the spot. Incumbent Precinct 1 Constable Victor “Smitty” Terrell, incumbent Precinct 3 Constable Michael Bell and incumbent Precinct 4 Constable Arthur Villareal are all running unopposed and thus will retain their positions come November.