Early voting gets under way Tuesday for Republican and Democratic March Primaries for federal, state and county offices.

Wharton County’s 25,100 registered voters will find far more contested county and state races on the GOP ballot, however, than the Democratic one. To cast a ballot in the primary, voters must decide between the two parties first.

Early voting can be done in the Mayor’s Room of the El Campo Library, 200 W. Church; Wharton County Annex D, Classroom 116, 315 E. Milam in Wharton; and the East Bernard Library,746 Clubside.

Polls will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18 to Friday, Feb. 21; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 to Wednesday, Feb. 26; and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27 and Friday, Feb. 28.

“I believe it’s going to be very busy, so don’t wait until the last minute,” Wharton County Elections Administrator Cindy Richter said, reminding everyone who does come to vote that they must bring a photo ID with them.

Local challenged races are:

State Representative: Incumbent Phil Stephenson faces challengers Abolaji Tijani Ayobami and Robert Boettcher.

District Attorney: Incumbent Dawn Allison faces John Maher.

Sheriff: Incumbent Shannon Srubar is challenged by Robert Macek Jr.

Tax Assessor-Collector – With the incumbent choosing not to run, it’s an open field with Cindy Hernandez, Sarah Hudgins and Jessica Schulze seeking the office.

Commissioner Precinct 3: Incumbent Steven Goetsch is challenged by Matt Lutringer and Rudy C. Ochoa.

For more on the candidates, look for a voters guide next week in your El Campo Leader-News.

To win the nomination, a candidate must capture 51 percent of the vote. If no candidate does so, a run-off election will be held between the top two vote-getters Tuesday, May 26.

“If you are registered to vote, please go out and vote,” Richter said. “If you are not registered, it’s too late for this election, but after, come register so you are prepared for the next one.”

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