It’s here: Super Tuesday, Cameron County registered voters’ last chance to participate in the process of determining which candidates will go up against each other in runoff elections and the general election.
Voters also have the chance to help set their party’s agenda going into the Nov. 3 general election via a number of propositions. Remi Garza, county elections administrator, said election judges for the county’s dozens of polling places have picked up the necessary supplies from headquarters and are preparing their locations for what is expected to be a robust turnout.
As for early voting, Garza said turnout was about the same as other recent presidential election years.
“Actually for a presidential year we saw very similar numbers to past years, but we did have an increase on the Democratic party side and an average turnout for the Republican party for a presidential election year,” he said.
Democratic and Republican party in-person early votes were to be tallied Monday, Garza said.
Democrats and Republicans will vote for their primary choices for the federal offices of president, U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Twelve Democrats are vying to go up against Republican U.S. Senator John Cornyn in the general election, while incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Filemon B. Vela will face two Democratic primary challengers: Osbert Rodriguez Haro III and Diego Zavala.
District 27 state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. goes up against Democrats Sara Stapleton Barrera and Ruben Cortez for the seat. District 37 state Rep. Alex Dominguez faces competition from Amber Medina, a Democrat.
Democratic voters will also be asked to choose primary candidates for railroad commissioner, state Supreme Court chief justice and three other Supreme Court justices; three Court of Criminal Appeals judge places; two places for 13th Court of Appeals justice, and district judgeships for the 138th, 404th, 444th and 445th judicial districts.
County offices being voted on are County Court at Law No. 4 and 5 judges, county attorney, with Luis Saenz running unopposed; and sheriff, with the incumbent Omar Lucio running against two Democratic challengers, Michael R. Galvan and Eric Garza.
Antonio “Tony” Yzaguirre Jr., David A. Garza, Daniel Holland and Jared Hockema are running unopposed for, respectively, county tax assessor/collector, county commissioner Precinct 3, constable Precinct 1, and Democratic county chairman. Diego Alonzo Hernandez and Laura Perez-Reyes are running for the unexpired-term seat of district clerk.
Also appearing on the Democratic primary ballot are 11 propositions meant to gauge voter sentiment going into Nov. 3.
Cornyn has four primary challengers on the Republican ballot, Republicans Rey Gonzalez and Rod Lingsch are the primary candidates for the District 34 U.S. House seat, while Republican Vanessa Tijerina is running unopposed in her bid to capture the state senate District 27 position.
The Republican primary ballot will include candidates for railroad commissioner and the four Supreme Court justice seats, including chief justice. The ballot will also feature candidates for the three Court of Criminal Appeals judge positions and the two 13th Court of Appeals justice seats.
Republican John Chambers is on the primary ballot for sheriff, while three are vying for constable Precinct 1: Pedro Delgadillo, Norman Esquivel Jr. and Manuel “Manny” Hinojosa III. Mirla Veronica Deaton is running unopposed for the district clerk seat and Morgan Graham for Republican county chairman. The Republican ballot features 10 propositions aimed at surveying the county’s GOP voters in the march to November. Voters are not required to vote on the propositions in either primary.
Garza encouraged voters to fill out the interactive sample ballot on the elections department’s website, cameronvotes.com, print it out and take it to the polling place to make the process easier and faster, or at the very least take a look at the sample ballot online before heading to the polling place in order to save time.
Voters can find their polling places by visiting the website or by calling (844) CAN-VOTE (226-8683).
“We want to remind everybody if they can to vote earlier in the day so they’re less likely to be waiting in line later in the evening,” Garza said.
He encouraged voters not to skip today’s primary elections because they’re an extremely important part of the democratic process.
“Every election is an integral part of our democracy,” Garza said. “We have to vote in order to have a truly representative government. This, the primary process, is the way our largest parties nominate the individuals they think should be elected in November. This is the first step in the presidential election for Texas.”