EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) -
1:21 a.m.: Unofficial returns for Houston County have now been released.
12:05 a.m.: The final votes are in from the Angelina County primary and Sheriff Greg Sanches has managed to avoid a runoff and win the Republican nomination outright.
Houston County numbers still have not been released.
10:36 p.m.: Andrew Jones released the following statement after his primary victory tonight:
“I want to thank everyone who poured their heart into this campaign, for their love, trust, hardwork, and support throughout all of this. This victory would not have been possible without it. I am so humbled. A special thank you to my family and especially my wife -- primarily for putting up with me throughout all of this. She is my best friend and my love, I am so fortunate to have her by my side. As I have said from the outset, God has a plan, and I felt led in this direction, so I just had to have faith, even though it was through some fire. I truly wish Mr. Morin all the best. I am ready to get back to work and continue serving the wonderful people of Nacogdoches County. Thank you!”
10:21 p.m.: Another sheriff race, another runoff. In Van Zandt County, Sheriff Dale Corbett received the most votes but not enough to avoid a runoff. He will be taking on Steve Hendrix in May.
9:49 p.m.: We’re starting to sound like a broken record, but another sheriff’s race is headed to a runoff. With all votes counted in Cherokee County, Brent Dickson has 3,396 votes (44 percent) and Eric Long has 2,283 votes (30 percent).
9:44 p.m.: An interesting development in Shelby County. The county clerk spokeswoman said that the incumbent Jake Metcalf resigned, and Bryan Gray was appointed to fill the seat. Then, he resigned. Both men were on the ballot, and she said they both said they would let the other guy win. The lady said that race is still up in the air, and they don’t know what is going to happen with it.
9:41 p.m.: The count is final in Smith County and it appears Jarad Kent (10,274 votes, 40 percent) and Austin Reeve Jackson (11,334, 45 percent) are headed for a runoff for the 114th District Court seat. Neal Franklin managed to hit the 50 percent threshold to win the Republican nomination for Pct. 1 commissioner.
9:38 p.m.: With half the votes counted, Angelina County Sheriff Greg Sanches is maintaining a lead to avoid a runoff. Sanches has 51 percent of the votes. His top challenger, Bryan Holley, has 45 percent of the vote.
9:27 p.m.: The count is finalized in Shelby County and the sheriff’s race is headed for a runoff. Kevin Windham led a field of five with 1,651 votes (30 percent) and he’s going into a runoff election against the sheriff from eight years ago, Newton Johnson. Johnson received 1,175 votes (22 percent).
9:17 p.m.: All the votes are counted in Camp County and it appears John Cortelyou will be the new sheriff in January. Cortelyou had 1,138 votes, Tim Hall had 480 and Byron Aldredge had 339. Cortelyou reached the required 50 percent of the vote in order to avoid a runoff.
9:10 p.m.: Final results are in for Rusk County and it appears Sheriff Jeff Price will be in a runoff with Johnwayne Valdez in May. Price failed to get the required 50 percent of the votes as he received 3,791 votes (44 percent). Valdez was second with 2,643 votes (31 percent).
8:43 p.m.: Nacogdoches County results are final and Andrew Jones is the nominee for the vacated district attorney position. Andrew Jones won the Republican primary with 3,896 votes to Rey Morin’s 3,683. Jones does not have a Democrat challenger in November.
8:37 p.m.: There are several hotly contested races in Wood County this year. In the Republican race for sheriff, Kelly Cole leads four candidates with 3,371 votes. The current sheriff, Tom Castloo has 2,649 votes, James Schaffner has 539 and Callie Carrell-Lawrence has 154. For the district judge, incumbent Jeff Fletcher is not doing well in his bid for re-election, trailing J. Brad McCampbell 3,663 votes to 2,919. District Attorney Angela Albers leads challenger Jodi Cox, 5,526 votes to 3,223.
8:19 p.m.: In Polk County for the vacant sheriff’s seat, Byron Lyons leads the Republican candidates with 1,958 votes. Mike Nettles has 1,503 votes, Paul Cain has 490 and Mark Jones has 414. This race is headed to a runoff if the percentages hold up.
8:12 p.m.: In Cherokee County, with 5 out of 25 precincts reporting, Brent Dickson leads the sheriff’s race with 2,366 votes. Eric Long is second with 1,639, Johnathan Rhodes has 495, Roy Cavazoz Jr. has 322 and Ben Ellis has 306. Dickson has 46 percent of the vote, which as of now is not enough to avoid a runoff.
8:06 p.m.: In Houston County, Randy Hargrove has 51 percent of the early voting total, with 1,013 votes. Ryan Martin trails with 746 and Johnny Catoe has 239.
7:54 p.m.: John Cortelyou is leading early voting in Camp County for the vacant sheriff seat. He has 724 votes to Tim Hall’s 307 and Byron Aldredge’s 188.
7:47 p.m.: For the vacant Smith County Precinct 1 commissioner race, Neal Franklin has 50 percent of the votes with 1,575. Pam Frederick is second with 815 and Paul Perryman has 783. For the vacant 114th District Judge seat, Austin Reeve Jackson has 5,638 votes, Jarad Kent has 4,485 and Mitch Adams has 1,520.
7:40 p.m.: In Angelina County, Sheriff Greg Sanches is leading after early voting. He has 3,752 votes to Bryan Holley’s 3,280 and Terry Free’s 231.
7:32 p.m.: In Rusk County, Sheriff Jeff Price is trying to avoid a runoff in a race against three challengers. Price has 2,069 votes in early voting. Johnwayne Valdez has 1,105 votes, Jesse Stewart has 781 votes and Nathan Parker has 197 votes.
7:16 p.m.: In Nacogdoches County, Andrew Jones has taken a small lead for the vacated district attorney race with 2,096 votes to Rey Morin’s 1,939.
Polls close in Texas at 7 p.m. and the East Texas News staff is ready to bring you the latest.
Along with Super Tuesday races around the nation today, there are many contested state and county races we will be keeping a close eye on.
There are four challengers to US Sen. John Cornyn’s seat in the Republican primary and 12 candidates are vying for the Democrat nomination.
US Representative Louie Gohmert is challenged by Johnathan Kyle Davidson. The winner will take on Hank Gilbert in November.
Three state representative races are contested. In District 2, incumbent Dan Flynn faces challenges from Bryan Slaton and Dwayne “Doc” Collins. The winner of that race will face Democrat Bill Brannon in November. In District 9, incumbent Chris Paddie faces a challenger in Mark Williams.
Sheriff offices in the counties of Angelina, Cherokee, Houston, Rusk, Wood, Anderson, Camp, Polk, Shelby, Titus, Tyler and Van Zandt are up for grabs.