Voters must register by Mon. for upcoming party primaries

By BRUCE ALSOBROOK, News-Telegram Managing Editor

Jan. 29, 2008 - Anyone who wants to have a say in any of the contested races in March party primaries needs to get down to the Hopkins County voter registrar's office pretty soon.

Next Monday -- as in Feb. 4, 2008 -- is the 29th day before the primary elections and consequently the last day to submit an application to vote in the March 4 primaries.

It is also the last day to make a change of address prior to the primary elections, although according to voting information on the Hopkins County website (hopkinscountytx.org), voters who submit a change of address after Monday may still be able vote.

"A voter who submits a change of address after this date may still be eligible to return to his or her previous precinct to vote under 'fail-safe' voting, if he or she still resides in the same political subdivision conducting the election," the information states.

A registered voter may cast a ballot in either the Democratic or Republican party primary elections. They may not, however, vote in both primaries, which will be held held Tuesday, March 4..

Voters also do not have to vote for the same candidates in the November general election as they voted for in the party primaries, either.

Voting in the primaries also has no affect on other local elections such as the City Council and school board elections that will be held in May.

The party primaries will decide the nominees for each party in various federal, state and county races. In some instances, the winners in the primary are virtually assured they will take office after the November elections, as a few of the candidates only have opponents in their own party primary. That would mean the only opponents they would face in November would be write-in candidates.

Early voting in both party primaries will commence Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Hopkins County Clerk's Office at 306 North Davis St. (also known to longtime residents as the old home of Sulphur Springs Loan and Building Association), and continue weekdays during business hours through Friday, Feb. 29.

Early voting sessions will also be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 24.

Applications to vote by mail may also be made to the county clerk's office through noon on Tuesday, Feb. 26


Local races that are contested in either March or November include::


Precinct 1 Commissioner

REPUBLICANS: Incumbent Beth Wisenbaker is challenged in her bid for a fourth term by Will Woods.

DEMOCRATS: John W. Ragan is unopposed.

Precinct 3 Commissioner

REPUBLICANS: Phillip Anderson, owner of TriStar Alternator and Starter, and Ronald "R.D." Reed, a professional fireman with for 33 years, are seeking the GOP nomination.

DEMOCRATS: Incumbent Don Patterson is unchallenged for a fifth term.


Sheriff

REPUBLICANS: Norman Sanders Jr., a Sulphur Springs police lieutenant, is unopposed.

DEMOCRATS: Incumbent Sheriff Charles "Butch" Adams is unopposed.

62nd Judicial District Judge

REPUBLICANS: Erwin Cain, a trial lawyer, is unopposed on the GOP ticket.

DEMOCRATS: Incumbent Democrat Scott McDowell is unopposed on the Democratic Party ballot. He is seeking a second term.


State Representative, District 3

DEMOCRATS: Incumbent Mark Homer has no challengers on the Democratic Party ticket. He is seeking a fifth term.

REPUBLICANS: Kirby Hollingsworth is running for the Republican Party nomination for a third straight election. He has faced Homer in the previous two November general elections in 2004 and 2006.


U.S. Representative

REPUBLICANS: Incumbent U.S. Rep. Ralph Hall, the oldest serving member of Congress, is challenged on the Republican ticket by Gene Christensen and Kevin George, both of Celina, as well as Joshua Kowert of Sherman and Kathy Seei of Frisco.

DEMOCRATS: VaLinda Hathcox of Hopkins County and Glenn Melancon of Sherman have filed to run on the Democratic ticket. Hathcox, a native of Sulphur Springs, is a former Hopkins County Attorney and was the Democratic Party's nominee for Commissioner of the General Land Office of Texas in 2006. Melancon was the Democratic Party nominee for District 4 U.S. Representative in 2006 but lost to Hall.

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