|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Candidate filings may have ended
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – The impact of an ongoing court challenge to the state’s redistricting plan created more confusion last week, even after a twice-changed filing deadline for candidates finally passed. The court challenge, which will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in January, prompted both the Democratic and Republican parties to agree last week to postpone the Texas primary elections from March 6 to April 3. This forced candidates across the state into a scramble to change their campaign signs, cards and other literature to reflect the new date. The parties last week also agreed to postpone the filing deadline from Thursday, Dec. 15, until Monday, Dec. 19. The original deadline was to have been Monday, Dec. 12, but that was changed in November by a federal court ruling handed down by a three-judge panel in San Antonio. Still up in the air as far as candidate filings are concerned is a “second filing period” which could begin sometime in January but would end at 6 p.m. on Feb. 1. The start date for the second period would be determined by the federal court based on its decision regarding the state’s redistricting plan. That decision would have an impact on the boundaries for the state’s U.S. Representatives’ seats as well as the Texas representative and senate districts. While local party officials were not positive if the second filing period would be for all offices or would apply just in the district races, they said it appears now that it would apply to all. Under the court order, candidates who file in the first filing period would be allowed to withdraw or amend their applications during the second period. When the first round of filing came to an end Monday, the number of candidates who had applied for positions on the party ballots had increased by four – three in the Republican and one in the Democratic primary, For the first time in memory, the Republican Party will field almost as many candidates as the Democrats. They will have 10 candidates seeking eight of the 10 local offices on the ballot. The Democratic Party is set to field 11 candidates seeking nine of the offices. At the end of the first filing period, Assistant District Attorney Bennie Schiro was running for the district attorney’s office unopposed in the Republican Primary. No candidate was seeking that position on the Democratic side. Incumbent District Attorney Joe Ned Dead did not file for re-election. Another candidate to file in the past week was Trinity City Councilman Neal Smith, who will be seeking the Precinct 3 county commissioner’s job as a Republican. Incumbent Pct. 3 Commissioner Cecil Webb is running for re-election unopposed in the Democratic primary. While both Smith and Webb are currently unopposed in their respective party primary elections, the winners of the two primaries would face one another on the November general election ballot. The winners in the general election races would take office on Jan. 1, 2013. The third candidate who filed in the Republican primary over the last week was Sherman Jones, who will be challenging Reggie Olive for the Republican nomination in the Precinct 4 constable’s race. Incumbent Pct. 4 Constable Ronnie Hunt is running unopposed for the office in the Democratic primary. The only candidate to add his name to the Democratic primary ballot over the past week was incumbent County Attorney Joe Warner Bell. Bell currently is unopposed in the primary and no candidate has filed for the office on the Republican side. The other races in both primaries remained unchanged from the previous week. In the race for sheriff, incumbent Sheriff Ralph Montemayor Sr. is being challenged by former Chief Deputy Sheriff Don Fisher for the Democratic Party nomination. Pct. 1 Constable Woody Wallace is running for the office unopposed in the Republican primary. Incumbent County Tax Assessor-Collector Lindy Madden Warren was unopposed in her re-election bid in the Democratic primary and no candidate had filed for that office on the Republican side. In the Precinct 1 commissioner’s race, incumbent Grover “Tiger” Worsham was unopposed in the Republican primary while Tom McCrory was unopposed on the Democratic Party ballot. In the Precinct 1 constable’s race, Pct. 1 Deputy Constable Rusty Barrett was unopposed in the Republican primary seeking the post now held by Wallace. In the Democratic primary, Ronald North was also unopposed. Incumbent Pct. 2 Constable R. Sterling Johnson was seeking re-election unopposed in the Democratic Party Primary while on the Republican side, Pct. 1 Deputy Constable Make Cole also was running unopposed. In the primary races for the Precinct 3 constable’s position, four deputy constables were seeking the post now held by James O. Reynolds, who is not seeking re-election. In the Democratic primary, deputy constables Hayne Huffman and Earl Hanson will be on the ballot while in the Republican primary the candidates include Precinct 3 deputy constables Carl Casey and Tom Hester.