By MARY RAINWATER
PALESTINE — As the first week of filings for the March 4, 2013 primary elections come to a close, candidates at the local, state and federal levels are beginning to toss their proverbial hats into the political ring.
At the county level, Republican incumbents District Attorney Doug Lowe, County Judge Robert Johnston, District Clerk Janice Staples and Precinct 4 Commissioner Joey Hill; and Democrat incumbents Precinct 2 Commissioner Rashad Mims I and Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Carl Davis
have all filed for re-election.
Newcomer Republican Michael W. Lumpkins of Palestine has filed for the Precinct 2 Commissioner seat and Republican candidate Mark Staples has filed for the county clerk's seat, currently held by Democrat Wanda Burke who recently announced her retirement at the end of 2014.
Republican newcomer Tara Lambright Holliday of Elkhart has filed to run for the country treasurer seat, currently held by Republican Kim Turman, who had not filed for re-election as of Friday.
At the state level, Republican incumbents District 3 State Senator Robert Nichols of Jacksonville and District 8 State Representative Byron Cook of Corsicana had filed for election.
Several Texans have cast their bid for election to the state's top spot as governor, with Republicans Miriam Martinez, Lisa Fritsch, (current Texas Attorney General) Greg Abbott and Democrats Wendy R. Davis of Fort Worth and Reynaldo “Ray” Madrigal of Corpus Christi all filing to run in the primary election.
Republicans Barry Smitherman of Houston (current Texas Railroad Commissioner) and Ken Paxton have filed for Abbott's seat as Texas AG, with Republican Glenn Hegar of Katy and Democrat Mike Collier of Kingwood vying for the seat of Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, a Republican.
Several Republican candidates have filed for the state's Commissioner of Agriculture spot, currently held by Palestine's own Todd Staples, who has recently announced his intent to run for lieutenant governor, but had not filed as of Friday.
Republicans Eric Opiela, J. Allen Carnes of Uvalde, Sid Miller of Stephenville and Tommy Merritt of Longview have all filed to run for the spot in the March 2014 primary election.
Other state seats that have seen filings this week are that of the Commissioner of General Land Office, currently held by Republican Jerry Patterson, with Democrat John Cook of El Paso filing for that race; and that of State Railroad Commissioner, with Republican newcomer Malachi Boyuls filing.
At the federal level, U.S. Representative for the 5th Congressional District Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, has filed for re-election to his seat.
Other offices that are up for election in 2014 include (incumbents are in parenthesis):
• District Judges
87th Judicial District Judge (Debra Oakes Evans, R)
369th Judicial District Judge (Bascom W. Bentley III, R)
• Judge, County Court at Law (Jeff Doran, R)
• County Surveyor (Gene Russell, D)
• Justices of the Peace
JP 1 (Gary Thomas, D)
JP3 (James E. Todd, D)
JP4 (James W. Westley, R)
• Lt. Governor (David Dewhurst, R)
• Texas Supreme Court
Chief Justice, Place 1 (Wallace B. Jefferson)
Justice, Place 7 (Jeffrey S. Boyd)
Justice, Place 8 (Phil Johnson)
• Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
Judge, Place 3 (Tom Price)
Judge, Place 4 (Paul Womack)
Judge, Place 9 (Cathy Cochran)
• Chief Justice of Courts of Appeals — 12th Court of Appeals (Tyler, Chief Justice James T. Worthen of Big Sandy)
• United States Senator (John Cornyn, R)
Application filings, which began on Saturday and continue through Dec. 9, take place at the offices of respective party chairpersons.
Anderson County Republicans wishing to file their application should do so at the Republican Party Headquarters, 515 N Church St., or by calling Anderson County Republican Party Chairman Michael Mart at 903-729-3289.
Anderson County Democrats, meanwhile, should contact Anderson County Democratic Party Chairman J. Larry Davis at 903-922-3519.
The early voting period for the March 4, 2014 Primary Election takes place Feb. 18-28, 2014. A primary run-off election date has been scheduled for May 27, 2014, with early voting for that election taking place May 19-23, 2014.
For more information about elections and candidate filings, visit www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/candidates.