Upshur Countians join voters throughout Texas in going to the polls Tuesday for the Republican and Democratic primaries, which feature races ranging from the virtually-settled GOP Presidential contest and Congress downward to county office.
Voting hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. for both parties' primaries at 15 locations in Upshur County, where the Republican ballot has six contested races for county office and a 3-way race for county GOP chairman.
And for the first time in at least 60 years, the local Democratic Party ballot has no candidates for county governmental elective office. The only local candidate on the Democratic ballot is Dan Miles, Jr., unopposed for the county party chairmanship held by Joe Newsom.
As of 7 p.m. Thursday, the latest time for which complete early voting figures were available, 1,936 persons had voted in the Upshur County GOP primary while 204 had cast ballots in the Democratic one, said deputy County Clerk Samantha Caffey. She said "quite a few" more had cast ballots at the courthouse as of 11 a.m. Friday—the last day for in-person early voting, which was to end that night statewide.
The county has more than 25,000 registered voters.
On the Republican ballot, the only contested race for an entirely countywide office features Sheriff Anthony Betterton facing three challengers in his bid for reelection to a fourth term. They are Larry Webb, Donald Willeford and Greg Mandreger.
Pct. 1 County Comm. James Crittenden has four opponents in his bid for reelection to a third term—Mike Chandler, Paula Gentry, Richard (RB) Hodge, and Wayne Oney. Pct. 3 County Comm. Lloyd Crabtree, also seeking reelection to a third term, faces Frank Berka.
Three of the county's four constable posts are contested. In Pct. 1, Gene Dolle and Tim A. Barnett vie to succeed retiring incumbent Russell Harris. In Pct. 3, three candidates—Stanley Jenkins, John Cannon Jr. and Landon Burleson—are running to succeed retiring incumbent Jerry Kuhn.
And in Pct. 4, incumbent Phillip M. Hill, seeking reelection to a second term, is challenged by Dewayne LaGrone and Wayne Henson. (Pct. 2 incumbent Jason Weeks meantime escaped opposition for reelection to a second term.)
In the race for Republican Party county chairman, Ken Ambrose has two challengers in his bid for reelection to a second 2-year term, Cynthia Ridgeway and Chuck Mears, in a party that has been racked by infighting at the local level for nearly two years.
The only other countywide office on the GOP ballot is for Tax Assessor-Collector, where appointed incumbent Sherron Laminack escaped opposition in a bid for election in her own right. She was appointed to succeed longtime Tax Assessor-Collector Mike Smith, who resigned several months ago more than a year after he suffered a major stroke.
Besides the local races, a Gilmer area attorney, H.D. Bailey, is challenging incumbent Bailey C. Moseley in Moseley's bid for reelection to Place 2 Justice on the 6th Court of Appeals in Texarkana.
Upshur County has also been split into two Congressional districts under redistricting.
In District 1, Rep. Louie Gohmert of Tyler, who has been representing the entire county, is unopposed in the GOP primary (although he faces Democratic and Libertarian opponents in November). In District 4, Rep. Ralph Hall of Rockwall has two primary foes in his bid for reelection: Lou Gigliotti and Steve Clark.
To see which Congressional election they vote in, Upshur County voters should look at the number under "USREP" on their new voter registration card.
Generating considerable interest here has been the heated GOP contest for District 7 state representative between incumbent David Simpson of Longview and the man he ousted two years ago, Tommy Merritt. The new redistricting plan added Upshur County to the two Gregg County men's district this year. (Upshur County had been represented for years by Republican Bryan Hughes of Mineola, who faces Mineola School Supt. Mary Lookadoo in his primary battle for reelection in his new district).
The Republican ballot also has five non-binding referendums on issues ranging from a balanced budget to regulating the content of public prayer.
In November, Upshur Countian Sherri Little will be the Libertarian Party nominee for the District 9 seat on the State Board of Education. She will face the winner of Tuesday's Republican race between incumbent Thomas Ratliff, seeking reelection, and Randy Stevenson.
Races are also on one or both party's ballots Tuesday for positions ranging from U.S. Senate to state judgeships.
Following are the polling places in Upshur County for Tuesday's election, and the precinct voting box numbers which vote at each location. (The precinct numbers are not the same numbers as a voter's county commissioner number. To find your precinct voting box number, look at the left side of your voter card by your year of birth. Your county commissioner precinct number, which is the same as your constable precinct number, is in the box marked "COMM" on the right side of the card).
—Rock Building, 301 E. Butler, Gilmer—precinct 1, 19, 20, 21
—East Mountain Community Center, 103 Municipal Drive—precinct 2
—Glenwood Water Supply Corp., 5792 FM Road 726 South—precinct 3
—South Diana voters (precinct 4) will cast ballots at New Diana ISD Auditorium, 11826 Texas Hwy. 154 East
—First Assembly of God, 1919 N. Wood (U.S. Hwy. 271), Gilmer—5, 18
—North Diana voters (precinct 6) will cast ballots at Walnut Creek Baptist Church, 1969 Sego Lily Drive
—Ore City City Hall, 302 W. Main—7
—Ewell, Union Ridge Community Center, 2296 FM 593, Gilmer—8
—Big Sandy ISD, 401 Wildcat Drive—9
—Pritchett Community Center, 1092 FM 1404—10
—Gladewater Former Student Association Building, 2509 Hendrix (behind rodeo grounds), Gladewater—11, 16
—Upshur County Library, 702 Tyler (Texas Hwy. 154), Gilmer—12, 17
—Union Hill ISD ag building, 2197 FM 2088—13
—Simpsonville fire station, 10282 FM Road 556—14
—Rosewood Baptist Church, 8240 Arrowwood Road—15
Any needed runoff elections will be held July 31, when the local Republican ballot will also have elections for the party's precinct chairmanships.
Someone who votes in one party's primary on Tuesday cannot vote in the other party's primary, nor the other party's runoff election. If a voter participated in a political convention of one party, they cannot vote in another party's primary Tuesday nor another party's runoff.
Voter information, including where to vote and sample ballots
by UPSHUR COUNTY CLERK