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Early voting for the May 27 runoff election began Monday and will continue through Friday, May 23.
There will be no other polling locations for the Democratic and Republican runoff elections for party primary, other than at the Lamar County Services Building (former post office), located at 231 Lamar Avenue.
There are several runoff races to decide the Republican Primary. When a candidate in any race does not secure more than 50% of the votes cast, a runoff is held between the top two vote getters.
Locally, the Republican Primary runoff elections are set to decide on:
Justice of the Peace, Precinct 5, Place 2 – between Paris Police Department spokesman, Curtis Garrett, and incumbent Gene Hobbs, Jr.
*Although incumbent Hobbs — who was picked to succeed longtime JP Earnie Sparks following his retirement — maintained a wide lead over Garrett, he was unable to secure more than 50% of the votes, receiving 41.49% to Garrett’s 29.44%. There were 2,775 votes cast in the race among three candidates.
Constable, Precinct 5 – between Jimmy Hodges, who received 47.81% of the 2,462 votes cast for the thee candidates, while Gerry Don Hines gained 30.38% and Jimmy, 21.81%.
*Hodges and Hines will meet in the May 27 runoff.
County Commissioner, Precinct 2 — between David Nibliett, who garnered 48.84% of the 649 votes cast in the race for commissioner, while challengers Larry Davis received 25.89% and James Dunn received 25.27%
*Niblett and Davis will meet in the May 27 runoff.
John Ratcliffe will challenge incumbent Ralph Hall for the Texas congressional district 4 seat.
*Hall – who’s 91-years old – is the oldest and one of the longest standing members of congress. His first political office to be elected into was in 1950, where he served as county judge of Rockwall County.
*Ratcliffe – who’s 48-years old — said in an April interview with eParisExtra that he’s behind but still chasing with a lot of ground to make up in this runoff — gaining only 29% of the votes to Hall’s 45%.
*Ratcliffe says his record as a U.S. attorney, mayor of health and chief of Anti-Terroism and National Security for the Eastern District of Texas make him a viable alternative.
*However, according to an interview with eParisExtra’s Jeff Parish in April, he frequently talked highly of his competitor, Ralph Hall, describing him as, “…a ‘nice man’ who is ‘well liked’.”
None of the Democrat candidates had challengers with incumbent Chuck Superville, who ran for county judge; Precinct 2 Commissioner Lonnie Layton, who is seeking to retain his seat; and incumbent Shirley Fults, who ran for treasurer.
The race for Precinct 2 Commissioner and county judge will be decided in the November general election. Precinct 2 Commissioner will be decided in the general election between Democrat Lonnie Layton and the winner of the Republic Primary on the May 27 runoff — David Niblett or Larry W. Davis.
Only 22.73% of the voters registered in Lamar County cast ballots this year. That’s a total of only 6,522 of the 28,698 registered voters. That’s a smaller percentage than it should be. You do have a voice; make sure to vote.
Continuing through Friday, the early voting period has begun for the Republican and Democratic Primary runoff elections.
By Josh Allen, eParisExtra