Voting

Steve and Pam Phinny leave the Gregg County Courthouse after voting early for the March 3 primary election on Tuesday, February 18, 2020. The primary's runoff election is from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across Texas. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal File Photo)

Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across the state today in runoffs originally scheduled for May, but the COVID-19 pandemic caused their delay.

Each party held its primary election in March, and today’s elections are between the top two vote-getters in races in those elections.

Elections officials reported low turnout in early voting and expressed concern about today’s turnout because of COVID-19 fears among voters.

Locally, Republicans in Rusk and Upshur counties have choices to make today.

In Rusk County, incumbent Jeff Price is being challenged for the sheriff’s post by Johnwayne Valdez. In Pct. 1, Randy Gaut and Shannon Thompson are vying for county commissioner, and Michael D. Smith and Richard Stanley are seeking to become Pct. 1 constable.

In Upshur County, Republicans are choosing whether Kent W. Abernathy or Michael L. Ashley will become Pct. 3 commissioner, succeeding Frank Berka, who did not seek re-election. In the race for Pct. 4 constable, David S. Thompson is challenging incumbent Larry Sewell.

No Democrats on the November ballot for the races in Rusk or Upshur counties, so today’s victors will effectively be the next officeholders.

Statewide, Democrats will be deciding their candidates in two races: the U.S. Senate and Texas Railroad Commission.

In the race for the nominee for Democratic candidate for Senate, state Sen. Royce West of Dallas is up against Air Force veteran MJ Hegar.

The winner of today’s race will face incumbent Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in the November election.

In the Texas Railroad Commission race, Roberto R.”Beto” Alonzo and Chrysta Castañeda both are seeking the Democratic nomination today.

The winner will challenge Republican candidate Jim Wright in November.

The general election will be Nov. 3.