Now with the constitutional amendments election complete, attention is shifting towards what will be a much busier 2018 election season.
On cue, candidate filing for a spot on the 2018 March primary ballots began on Saturday and lasts until Monday, Dec. 11. Candidates have been hosting formal campaign announcements for the past few months, but from now until the deadline they’ll actually be able to file.
Some of the more notable local elections coming up in 2018 are the house seats that come up every two years. U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington will be up for re-election, as will State Reps. Dustin Burrows and John Frullo. Lubbock County Judge Tom Head will not be seeking re-election and his absence has sparked a contested race for the open seat. Several County Commissioners will also be up for re-election, as will Justice of the Peace in all four precincts and the district attorney.
These elections should not get confused with the city and school elections. Those will be next year as well, but not until May and the filing doesn’t begin until January.
Candidates are filing either to the local party or the state party depending on the size of their district. The local Republican Party has received a handful of filings so far. The secretary of state’s website has not uploaded any filings as of Monday evening.
Here’s what we know based on candidate announcements and campaign treasurer reports already filed:
U.S. Representative for Texas District 19 — Three people have filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission, but one has since withdrawn his candidacy. Republican Jodey Arrington, who was first elected in 2016, and Democrat Miguel Levario, the challenger, right now are not set to face anybody in the March primaries. Dan Epstein was the first Democrat to announce a campaign to challenge Arrington, but Epstein withdrew his name in October after his daughter was born.
Texas House Representative, District 83 — Republican Dustin Burrows said he is seeking a third term. No Republican has filed yet to challenge him in the primary. Democrat Drew Landry, a professor at South Plains college, has filed to challenge Burrows in the general election.
Texas House Representative, District 84 — Republican John Frullo has not made a formal announcement, but did tell the Texas Tribune during an event last week that he was seeking re-election. On the Democratic side, Texas Tech student Zachary Reames-Zepeda and avid Democratic volunteer Samantha Fields will face off in the Democrat primaries.
Lubbock County Judge — The open seat for county judge has brought out two candidates so far in the Republican primary. Lubbock City Councilwoman Karen Gibson and Lubbock attorney Curtis Parrish have announced their candidacy and filed for their candidacy.
Lubbock County Commissioner, Precinct 2 — Commissioner Mark Heinrich will face a challenger in the Republican primaries. Jason Corley, who last year ran for the open congressional seat, has filed and is set to challenge the three-term commissioner for the Republican bid. Democrat Nick Harpster is also running and doesn’t yet have an opponent on the Democrat side.
Lubbock County Commissioner, Precinct 4 — Commissioner Patti Jones has not announced a re-election campaign, but has filed for a campaign treasurer. Democrat TG Caraway has been campaigning hard and does not have a primary challenger as of Monday.
Lubbock County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2 — The only Justice of the Peace race so far with a challenger is for Precinct 2. Current Judge Jim Dulin, who has held the post for about 19 years, said he has not yet decided if he is seeking re-election. Three Republicans have announced their candidacy. Attorney Susan Rowley has filed. Mark Meurer, the director of the Mercy Retreat Center, and Clemmie Payne, who serves on the Lubbock County General Assistance Board, have announced they will run in the Republican primary. where they’d face Dulin if he were to seek re-election.
Other local seats without challengers thus far include the criminal district attorney, district clerk, county clerk and county treasurer. Some state-wide elections sure to attract attention are the races for governor and lieutenant governor, as well as Ted Cruz’s re-election bid for U.S. Senate.