Mar 5, 2024 - Politics

What's on primary election ballots in North Texas

Illustration of a hand casting a ballot into a calendar

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today is Election Day, and voters will weigh in on several local and statewide primary races to decide who will run in the general election later this year.

The big picture: In addition to the presidential primaries, the ballot includes party contests for everything from Dallas County commissioner to the Democratic race for who will face U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the fall.

Why it matters: Your vote always counts, but it carries more weight this time — primary elections tend to have lower turnout than general elections.

  • And because districts are drawn to favor one party and many counties tip heavily Democratic or Republican, the primaries are the de facto definitive election.

What's happening: Ballots include primary candidates for president, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the Texas Supreme Court, Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas Board of Education.

  • U.S. Rep. Colin Allred from Dallas and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez from San Antonio are seeking the Democratic nomination to square off with Cruz, a Republican seeking his third term.
  • Several North Texas counties are also deciding candidates for county-wide offices.

Zoom in: In Dallas County, Democratic Sheriff Marian Brown is facing Lupe Valdez, a former Dallas County sheriff who ran for Texas governor in 2018, and other Democrats.

  • Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn, a Republican, doesn't face any challengers from his party but two Democrats are dueling it out for a chance to run against him.

State of play: About 1.8 million Texans — 10% of registered voters — cast an early ballot this election, per the Texas Tribune.

Flashback: In the last presidential primary in 2020, 12.6% of registered voters participated early.

When you go: Polls are open until 7pm today.

  • Check the elections website for your county — Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, Collin and Rockwall counties all have websites — to review your voter registration, view a sample ballot and find a polling location.

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