The five remaining Republican Presidential hopefuls and the two Democrats vying for their party’s nomination for President will be on the ballot today, Tuesday, March 1. Today is known as “Super Tuesday”, because it is the day when a baker’s dozen states hold their primaries (we’re counting Colorado Republicans here, who hold their caucus on Super Tuesday).
The Lone Star State, however, is the crown jewel for both Republicans and Democrats alike on the first Tuesday in March. There are 155 GOP delegates up for grabs in Texas, more than twice the amount in any other state participating, the next closest being Georgia with 76. For Democrats, Texas has 251 delegates at stake.
Both Parties will split the delegates proportionally to the remaining candidates, meaning that a candidate has an opportunity to win at least a few delegates even if they do not win the state outright. The “Winner-Take-All” primaries that constitute the majority of the remaining states begin March 15.
While much of the media will focus on the Presidential battles, there are critically important legislative races on the ballot, as well. For those in the agriculture industry, these races will be among the most critical, with the 2017 legislative session looming. Because of the importance of these races, the Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND has made endorsements in numerous races, including some of the more heated primary battles. These endorsements include: Rep. Charlie Geren (R-Fort Worth); Rep. Kyle Kacal (R-Bryan); Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana); Rep. Marsha Farney (R-Georgetown); Rep. DeWayne Burns (R-Cleburne); Rep. Mary Gonzalez (D-El Paso); Rep. Ina Minjarez (D-San Antonio; and Rep. Molly White (R-Belton). A full list of AGFUND-Endorsed candidates can be viewed here.
Another organization that has made legislative endorsements is the Texas Municipal Police Association Political Action Committee. Their endorsements can be found here.
For Texans passionate about the 2nd Amendment, the Texas State Rifle Association PAC has also made a candidate guide, listing their endorsements. The guide can be found here.
Why Super Tuesday?
Texas hasn’t always been a part of the action on Super Tuesday. Prior to 2004, Texas law stated that primary elections would be held on the second Tuesday in March. Because this date usually fell during school and university spring break, one former legislator decided to take action to ensure that more voters would be in town to participate in the process.
Former Texas Rep. Dan Branch (R-Dallas) led a bipartisan and bicameral effort to change the election law and move the election to the first Tuesday in March. Fighting in the name of voter enfranchisement and higher voter turnout, Branch saw his bill signed into law by then-Gov. Rick Perry in 2003, and Texans have been a part of the Super Tuesday party ever since. (To read more about this effort, check out Kevin Thompson’s post.)
Just the facts
What: Texas Primary Election
When: Tuesday, March 1. Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. across Texas.
Texas has an Open Primary, meaning registered voters can vote in either the Republican or Democratic Primary and do not have to sign up with either party prior. To check your voter registration status, visit the Texas Secretary of State’s site.
Also, for the first time, Texans are required to show photo ID to vote in a presidential election. For a list of acceptable forms of ID, click here.
Results from Early Voting (which ran from February 16-26) will be released after 7:00 p.m. With over one million voters having already cast a ballot in Texas’ 15 counties with the highest number of registered voters, high turnout is expected on Election Day across Texas.