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Early voting gets started Monday

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It is that time again when voters prepare to head to the polls and cast their votes and help decide the direction of government from the local to national level.

“As always, our elections are important and my office hopes all of the 50,000 registered voters in Liberty County will make their voices heard and cast a ballot this year,” said Elections Administrator Klint Bush.

Voters can vote at four locations during early voting, which runs Monday, Oct. 24 – Nov. 4. Voters may cast a ballot at the Jack Hartel Building in Liberty, the Dayton Community Center, Hardin City Hall and Cleveland Civic Center.

Highlighting the 2022 Midterm Elections is the race for Texas Governor between Republican incumbent Greg Abbott and several other candidates, with Democrat Beto O’Rourke leading the opposition candidates.

Races for lieutenant governor and attorney general will also grab much attention.

In Liberty County, no countywide offices are on the ballot, with all contested races like county judge, county court- atlaw and others being decided during the March Republican Primary.

The only local contested county race is for Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 between 40-year incumbent Democrat Ronnie Davis and former Pct. 2 Constable Jimmy Belt the Republican. Belt is looking to replace Davis, the only elected Democrat in the county.

Liberty County Democratic Party Chair Michael Mark hopes voters will come out and help retain that seat as the party works to make inroads across the county.

“ I am encouraging all Democrats in Liberty County to get out and vote early,” Mark said, “and to protect our democracy from the Trump insurrectionists who attacked our government on Jan. 6.”

In contrast, Liberty County Republican Chairwoman Emily Cook believes the movement towards conservative principles is more important than ever.

“ Many folks are surprised we still have a Democrat in elected office in this county. It is more important than ever that we vote Republican as a county. I urge all Republicans to vote the entire ballot and be sure that those in Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 turn their ballots over and vote for Jimmy Belt.” said Cook.

There are several multicounty races on the ballot that Liberty County voters will help decide, with the race for United States Congress District 36 Republican Incumbent Brian Babin, against Democrat Jon Haire.

The race for State Senator, District 3, will be between Republican incumbent Robert Nichols and Democrat Steve Russell. There was a Libertarian candidate; however, the campaign was suspended.

Voters will also decide on the state board of education and several judicial offices.

There are three school districts conducting elections, with Cleveland ISD asking voters to approve a $115 million bond for a new middle school and refurbishing the current Cleveland Middle School campus into a ninth and tenth- grade campus, as well as several other projects. CISD officials are hoping this measure will fare better than the last proposal for a new high school campus.

In Liberty, ISD school trustees are asking voters to approve the reallocation of funds that will allow for an additional estimated $ 1.9 million annually for the district. If approved, it would also decrease taxes over last year.

Tarkington ISD is holding school trustee elections with two incumbents seeking re-election and one opening for a new member on the line. Position 1 will see incumbent Paige Bostwick take on Derral Shelton and Justin Morgan; in the race for Position 2, incumbent Donny Haltom will face challenger Susan Rollins, and finally, Position 3 will see Kevin Johnson, Brent Head and Chase Carpenter vying for the seat currently held by Kem Arnold.

“ Voters need to be informed and cast their ballots early or on election day with voting being easier than ever with voting centers,” said Bush.

For more information, look at the Election Guide in this week’s edition of The Vindicator. It includes essential races locally, voting times, locations, and other important voting information.