The Feb. 1 voter registration deadline has passed for those hoping to vote in Texas’ March 1 Primary Election, and the start of early voting is right around the corner. Newly registered voters who got in under Monday’s deadline are now eligible to cast ballots in either the Republican or Democratic Primary.
Three local races—all contested in the Republican primary—should bring Hemphill County voters out in number. Three candidates are vying for the job of Hemphill County Sheriff, including the incumbent, Sheriff James Pearson, former deputy Jerri-Lynn Ortega, and Nathan Lewis, a Canadian resident who serves part-time as a Lipscomb County deputy. Barring the appearance of a write-in candidate in the general election, the winner of the Republican nomination will face no challenge on November 8.
There are contested races, as well, for two County Commissioner seats. Incumbent Precinct 1 Commissioner Coleman Bartlett’s re-election bid has drawn a challenge from Dawn Webb in the GOP primary. Precinct 3 Commissioner Mark Meek’s retirement has attracted a three-way race for that seat, involving Jackie Kidd, Curt McPherson and John Sam Krehbiel all vying for the Republican nomination.
Three other candidates have drawn no challengers. County Tax Assessor/Collector Debbie Ford, County Attorney Ty Sparks and Precinct 2 County Commissioner Tim Alexander have all signed up for the Republican primary and appear to have unimpeded paths through the general election. There are no Democratic candidates for any of these seats.
In next week’s Canadian Record, we will publish interviews with each of the candidates for Hemphill County Sheriff, along with the written responses of candidates for County Commissioner to our editorial questions.