Early voting has begun for the 30-plus races across Texas where no candidate captured 50 percent of the votes cast in crowded fields during the March 6 primary — forcing runoff races.
Democratic gubernatorial candidates Lupe Valdez, a former Dallas County sheriff, and Andrew White, a Houston businessman, are competing for the right to face Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in November.
That’s the only statewide race requiring a second round of voting.
But in 17 U.S. House districts, 11 on the Democratic side and six involving Republicans, the top-two March finishers are on the ballot again to advance to the general election. Same goes for assorted state House seats, and one Democratic primary in a Texas Senate district.
The May 22 runoff election will determine candidates to represent both the Republican and Democratic parties for the 6th Congressional District, the seat held by retiring U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis.
Republicans will also choose their candidate for Tarrant County Tax-Assessor Collector.
Early voting runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Friday. Voters can also cast ballots on election day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In the Republican runoff for Barton’s seat, Ron Wright of Arlington and J.K. “Jake” Ellzey of Midlothian square off against in each other. On the Democratic side, Jana Lynn Sanchez and Ruby Faye Woodridge, both of Arlington are vying to become the party candidate for Barton’s seat.
Barton’s decided against seeking re-election after photos and sexually-suggestive messages were shared online by an intimate partner in an extramarital affair. His departure from the race left a rare open Congressional seat without an incumbent. The district that covers parts of Tarrant and most of Eliis and Navarro counties had drawn 16 candidates, 11 Republicans and five Democrats.
Wright’s decision to run for Barton’s seat created an opening to fill his unexpired term as Tarrant County Tax Assessor-Collector. Republican candidates in the runoff for that position are former Mansfield City Councilwoman Wendy Burgess and former NBC-TV news anchor Mike Snyder. The two were among six Republican candidates vying for the position.
Ollie Anderson is the Democratic pick for Tax Assessor-Collector.
Also to be decided in the Republican runoff in Tarrant County are: 342nd District Judge: Pat Gallagher, Kimberly Fitzpatrick; Probate Court No. 1: Patricia Cole, Chris Ponder; Justice of the Peace Precinct 4; Christopher “Chris” Gregory, Jacquelyn Wright; and Justice of the Peace Precinct 6, Jason Charbonnet, Chris Garcia.
Other races on Tarrant County Democrats to decide are: 25th Congressional District: Chris Perri, Julie Oliver; Justice of the Peace Precinct 7: Frieda Porter, Kenneth D. Sanders.
For voting location and other information, visit tarrantcounty.com/en/elections/early-voting-information
Early voting ends Friday. The primary runoff Election Day is May 22.