The name of a candidate for Anderson County Precinct 4 commissioner who died last month will remain on the upcoming primary election ballot.

Mike BeCraft Sr., 55, of Montalba was killed near Normangee in a bulldozer accident on Jan. 13. The previous month, BeCraft had filed to oppose incumbent Precinct 4 Commissioner Randy Watkins in the March 7 Democratic Primary.

Scott Haywood, spokesperson for the Texas secretary of state’s office, told the Herald-Press Wednesday that state rules mandate that a candidate remain on the ballot after the 62nd day before the primary election.

For this election cycle, the final day to remove a name from the ballot due to death, withdrawal or ineligibility was Jan. 4, according to Haywood.

“If the deceased candidate were to win the primary, then the (Democratic) party would have the opportunity to nominate a candidate,” said Haywood, citing provisions of Sect. 172.060 of the Texas Election Code. “They (the nominated person) would then appear on the general election ballot (in November).”

Watkins and BeCraft were the only candidates to file with either major political party for the Precinct 4 commissioners’ position. Also, no candidates formally expressed their intent to seek the post as an independent candidate prior to the appropriate deadline.

Early voting in the primary elections begins Tuesday at the Anderson County Courthouse Annex and continues through March 3.

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Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at pstone@palestineherald.com

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