Governor orders two weeks of early voting

Julye Keeble

Staff writer

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation Monday doubling the early voting period for the July 14 runoff election due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Uvalde County residents will vote on two local races.

Early voting for the July 14 runoffs will begin on June 29 per Abbott, who suspended Sections 85.001(a) and 85.001(b) of the Texas Election Code to the extent necessary to allow for the extra time for early voting.

Abbott’s proclamation states the early voting period will end on the fourth day before election day, excluding any legal state or federal holidays.

Uvalde County elections administrator Melissa Jones Bradham said she is working on coronavirus voting protocols, and those will be made known to the public before early voting opens.

“July 3rd is when Independence Day is observed and July 4th is, of course, Independence Day. So there will be no voting those days,” Bradham said.

Originally scheduled to be held on May 26, Uvalde County has two local races that were affected by the delay: the Republican contender for Uvalde County Sheriff and for the office of Precinct 3 county constable.

The first local runoff election involves two candidates for the office sheriff, Otto Arnim and Ruben Nolasco. The victor in the runoff will face Democratic nominee Miguel “Mike” Hernandez in November.

The second involves two Republican Precinct 3 constable candidates, and as the Democratic party did not field a candidate, who holds the office will be decided in the runoff election. Voters in precincts 3 and 4 will choose the winner between incumbent Jim Mangum and county investigator Robert “Bob” Cook.

At the state level, Republican candidates Raul Reyes and Tony Gonzales are challenging to see who faces Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones for the office of U.S. Representative for Texas’ 23rd Congressional District. Incumbent Will Hurd elected to not run for office.

For the office of U.S. Senator, voters will choose between Democratic candidates Royce West and Mary “MJ” Hegar.

The winning candidate will face Republican incumbent John Cornyn in November.

Democrats Xochil Peña Rodriguez and Roland Gutierrez are contesting for the position of Texas State Senator for District 19. The victor will face Republican incumbent Peter P. “Pete” Flores.

For state railroad commissioner, Chrysta Castañeda will face fellow Democratic candidate Roberto R. “Beto” Alonzo. The runoff winner will take on Republican candidate James “Jim” Wright, who bested incumbent Ryan Sitton in the March primary election., 830-278-3335

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