UNDATED (KTRE) – East Texas election officials are hoping a hotly contested Governor's race, in addition to several big Congressional, state and local races will draw local voters to the polls.
Early Voting in the November 2 General Election begins Monday, October 18 through October 29.
Voters can vote straight party (Republican, Democratic, Libertarian, or Green Party) or decide on each individual race.
Topping the statewide ballot is the race for Governor between incumbent Rick Perry (R) and challengers Bill White (D), Kathie Glass (L) and Deb Shafto (G).
Governor Perry is running for re-election to a an unprecedented third term. He won the Republican primary against U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Bill White, former Houston Mayor, won the Democratic nomination. Kathie Glass, a lawyer from Houston won the Libertarian nomination, while Deb Shafto is the nominee for the Green Party.
Texas hasn't had a Democratic Governor since George W. Bush defeated Ann Richards in 1994, yet Democrats insist Perry is vulnerable, threatened by the same anti-incumbent fervor that threatens to upend the Democratic-controlled Congress.
Also on the statewide ballot are races for Lt. Governor, Attorney General, State Comptroller, Land Commissioner, Agriculture Commissioner, Railroad Commissioner and several Supreme Court Justices.
Add to those a slew of locally contested county races. Headlining the local ballot in Angelina County, incumbent County Commissioner Lynn George did not seek re-election leaving the field wide open for Delbert Jones who had a photo finish in the April Primary runoff election against Lenn Runnels with just two votes separating the winner. While Scott Cooper handily defeated Bill Brown in the Republican Primary and that set up this faceoff between Cooper and Jones.
The local headliner in Nacogdoches County finds incumbent Nacogdoches County Commissioner Reggie L. Cotton, Jr. facing Republican challenger Charles "Kilowatt" Thomson. Cotton overcame a comeback bid by former Commissioner Norman Henderson and in the process gained the Democratic nomination in order to go on to face Thomson in the General Election.
Elton Milstead beat opponent B-W Stripling in the April runoff election and now faces Democratic nominee Lane Bradshaw. Incumbent County Commissioner, Precinct 4, Tom Strickland did not seek re-election.
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Click here for a complete list of Texas races.