For the first time in Smith County history, a primary election is being held for county offices. This first-ever county primary will also determine two different races. On the evening of May 3, Smith County should know who the next County Mayor and Sheriff will be. How is this possible with the county general election not being until August?
These races will be determined during the May primaries since all candidates have chosen to run in a primary, the Republican primary in these cases, and no other candidates qualified for the Democratic primary or as an independent for the August general election. The winners of these primaries will be the only candidates listed on the general election ballot later this year for these offices, so the May primary effectively determines the winner of each race. We will know whether Jeff Mason or Art Shady will be the mayor or if Steve Hopper or Scott Moore will be the sheriff three months before the general election.
Only voters who participate in the Republican primary will be able to vote in these races since no candidates qualified for the Democratic primary. Voters must select one primary to vote in during the May primaries and are not allowed to vote in multiple primaries. Each voter must choose a Republican ballot or Democratic ballot. Voters who select the Republican ballot will only see Republican candidates, and voters who choose the Democratic ballot will only see the Democratic candidates.
Other contested primary races include the Republican nomination for trustee between Julie Wright and Jackie Gentry and the District 5 County Commission election with Danny Irizarry, Steven Lish, Linda L. Nixon, and Eddie Stout. The winners of these primaries will face opposition from independent candidates in the August elections.
Early voting is underway and runs through April 28th with Election Day on May 3rd.
For future local political and election news, keep an eye on Smith County Insider’s Politics Page!