Listen Live
Listen Live

On Air Now

Brushwood Media Network
Brushwood Media Network

As early voting kicks off, a ballot primer for Texas voters

SHARE NOW

(The Center Square) – In what has become an election week, early voting for the Republican and Democratic primary elections began Tuesday and end March 1. Primary election day is March 5.

At the top of the ballot are presidential candidates, with former president Donald Trump and President Joe Biden expected to win their respective primary races.

Six challengers remain on the Republican presidential primary ballot despite the majority having dropped out; seven remain on the Democratic primary ballot.

Incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is expected to win the Republican primary. His leading his potential Democratic challenger, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, who is expected to win the primary election with eight challengers on the ballot.

Multiple members of Congress are running for reelection and being challenged, including incumbent Democrat U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who lost her race for Houston mayor.

All 150 state representative seats are up for grabs, with more than 20% of candidates running unopposed.

Multiple candidates are running for 15 Texas Senate seats.

Thirteen propositions are on the Republican primary ballot covering a range of issues, including property taxes, border security, the Texas National Guard, election integrity and school choice, among others. Several topics relate to bills filed in the legislative session last year that went nowhere. The resolutions are nonbinding and act as an indicator of what Republican voters want the Republican Party of Texas and state legislature to prioritize.

The Republican primary election is also being viewed as a referendum on school choice after Gov. Greg Abbott endorsed candidates, both incumbents and those challenging incumbents, who’ve vowed to pass a school choice bill he supports. A recent University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs poll found that the majority of likely Republican primary voters will vote against incumbent Republican state representatives who blocked school choice proposals from advancing in the Texas House last year.

The Republican primary is also being considered a bellweather to determine how much the impeachment of Attorney General Ken Paxton is an issue for Republican voters. The governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the House appear to be at odds over Republican candidates they’ve endorsed, supporting opposing candidates depending on their support or opposition to impeachment.

A recent University of Texas/Texas Politics Project Poll found the majority of likely voters polled said the House was justified to impeach Paxton. The Houston/Hobby poll found that 46% of Republican primary voters were less likely to vote for an incumbent House representative who voted to impeach Paxton.

Also on the Republican primary ballot, Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick is being challenged by four candidates in a race many argue is one of the most consequential for the Texas oil and natural gas industry. Craddick, who has championed the industry, is reportedly being challenged by some candidates who claim to be Republicans but are in actuality hostile to the industry, industry insiders have told The Center Square.

On both ballots are candidates running for state supreme court justice positions, criminal court of appeals judge slots, county district attorneys, county attorneys, sheriffs, state board of education seats, county commissioners, justices of the peace, constables, among other positions.

Texas has semi-open primaries, allowing voters to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary races without being registered to either party. State law requires voters who vote in a specific party’s primary to vote in the same party’s primary if a race goes to a runoff election.

May 28 is scheduled as the primary runoff election day.