Political science expert lists races SETX voters should watch


Policy experts said one race, often overlooked, could have a big impact on big business.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Millions of Texans are expected to vote in the primary election on Tuesday.

Experts said primary races depend on votes and can have major statewide and local impacts on business and government.

“A primary for this may only have a few thousand voters in total and may have multiple candidates,” said James Nelson, an associate professor of political science at Lamar University. “So in this situation, the vote of any individual is more influential in some respect than it would be, for example, in a general election for Senate, Governor, or these other broader offices.”

With multiple races involving multiple candidates from different parties underway, voters had questions about which races they should pay close attention to.

Where to find your: 2022 Texas Midterm Primary Voter’s Guide

“What people watch will be different on both sides,” Nelson said,

Nelson thinks a very important race to watch for Texans, regardless of political affiliation, is the race for governor. There is a crowded field for Democratic and Republican candidates.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is running for another term for Texas’ highest office and seven Republican challengers are running against him.

“Abbott is most likely to win,” Nelson said. “But he’s going to have at least some notable opposition from Allen West and Don Huffines.”

Five Democratic candidates are on the ballot, including well-known politician Beto O’Rourke.

Related: Southeast Texans, Election Officials Stress Importance of Voting Amid Historically Low Voter Turnout

Nelson also encourages voters to pay close attention to the race for the Commissioner of Railways. The results of this race could have a big impact on big business.

“It’s the office that also inspects gas pumps to make sure a gallon is actually a gallon that you’re not sold for a gallon and charged for a gallon,” Nelson said.

Vote Texas 2022: Southeast Texas races to watch this primary election

In order to vote, voters will need to bring one of these accepted forms of identification:

  • Texas Driver License issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • United States passport (book or card)
  • United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
  • Texas handgun license issued by DPS
  • Texas Voter ID Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS

Jefferson County polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. On election night, all results will be posted on 12NewsNow.com/elections.

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