Texans cast ballots in primary elections - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Texans cast ballots in primary elections

Texans are heading to the polls in Bowie County Tuesday afternoon. Polls close at 7 p.m. Texans are heading to the polls in Bowie County Tuesday afternoon. Polls close at 7 p.m.
(KSLA) -

Texans are heading to the polls today for the nation's first round of primary elections this year. No glitches or problems have been reported at polling places, which close at 7 p.m.

Here's a look at who's in the running:

State Offices

Among the state's races is a heated contest for the governor's seat. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is taking on three other Republican candidates in the race for the Lone Star State's top spot. On the Democratic side, Sen. Wendy Davis has one opponent. The governor's office is up for grabs after current Gov. Rick Perry (R) decided not to run again after 14 years.

Abbott made national headlines last month when he promised to appeal a federal court's declaration of a Texas ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Davis, a former Fort Worth businesswoman, received attention after her June 2013, 11-hour filibuster that delayed a vote to limit abortions in Texas.

Four Republicans are vying for the lieutenant governor's seat, with incumbent David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick (Dist. 7, Houston) as the front runners. Austin is in for a possible runoff election for the second top spot, which doubles as the state Senate president and exerts considerably more influence than elsewhere in setting the legislative agenda. The race has been the nastiest and most competitive this primary season, the Associated Press reports.

Jerry Patterson and Todd Staples are other candidates on the Republican side and Leticia Van De Putte is the lone Democratic challenger.

While Abbott is busy in the gubernatorial race, Rep. Dan Branch (R) of Dallas and Sen. Ken Paxton (R) of McKinney and another conservative, who has been praised by U.S. Sen, Ted Cruz, are battling for his current spot. A third Republican, Barry Smitherman, is also running along with Sam Houston, the lone Democratic candidate.

Also on the state side, the District 1 seat, which includes Bowie, Franklin, Lamar and Red River counties, is up for grabs. Incumbent George Lavender (R) is hoping for a third session in Austin. He faces New Boston Independent School District Superintendent Gary Vandeaver, another Republican, who opposes adding new taxes. There are no Democratic candidates in the race.

Federal Offices

Democrats Kesha Rogers of Houston and Dallas dentist Dr. David Alameel are the prominent candidates for long-time U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's seat. The Republican incumbent is running for a third term. Seven other Republicans are running against Cornyn, while three more Democrats are taking on Rogers and Alameel.

The U.S. Representative Dist. 4 race has six candidates, all Republican. Incumbent Ralph Hall, a WW II veteran, is the oldest member of the House of Representatives.

In far East Texas, Republicans Jeff Akin and James Carlow are running for Bowie County judge. Carlow held the office from 1987 to 2010. Akin is a former radio host and political activist.

There are four uncontested races in the ArkLaTex's Texas area. U.S. Senator Louie Gohmert (R, Dist. 1, Tyler) and State Senator Robert Nichols (R, Dist. 3, Jacksonville) are the sole candidates for their offices. Republican state representatives Brian Hughes (Dist. 5, Mineola) and Chris Paddie (Dist. 9, Marshall) are also in offices that aren't being contested.

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