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Filing Deadline Marks Start of Election Season

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Primary Scheduled for March 3

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY – While most people are celebrating the Christmas season, there is another season that just officially kicked off – the 2020 election season.

Most of the current incumbents in Houston County have filed for another term and will be running unopposed. There are, however, some races which will be contested.

One of the two contested races in Houston County will be for the sheriff’s position. Sheriff Darrell Bobbitt decided not to run for re-election. As a result, four candidates have filed for the county’s top law enforcement position.

On the Republican side of things, John E. Catoe, Jr., Randy C. Hargrove, Sr. and Charles Ryan Martin have all thrown their hats into the political arena, hoping to secure the GOP nomination.

For the Democratic Party, Charles Holmes has filed and is unopposed.   

The other contested race will be for the Precinct Three County Commissioner’s seat. Incumbent Pat Perry decided not to run for re-election and his decision also resulted in four filings for the position.

Mickey Warren Kendrick, Jimmy Gerald McMillan and Gene Whitley Stokes have all filed to run in the March 3 Republican primary.

Reginald Berry has filed to run in the Democratic primary and is unopposed.

Houston County Attorney Daphne Session has filed for the March 3 primary and has not drawn an opponent. District Attorney Donna Kaspar has also filed for re-election and is running unopposed.

District Court Judge Pam Foster Fletcher of the 349th Judicial District and District Court Judge Mark Calhoon of the 3rd Judicial District have both filed for re-election and are unopposed.

Laronica Smith has filed for the position of Tax Assessor-Collector in the Democratic primary and has not drawn an opponent.

Precinct One County Commissioner Gary Lovell has filed for re-election and will run unopposed in the Republican primary.

Precinct One Constable Morris Luker and Precinct Two Constable Kenneth “Red” Smith have both filed for re-election. Neither Luker, nor Smith, have drawn an opponent. 

While the filing deadline has passed, Houston County Elections Administrator Cynthia Lum said the ballots are still not complete.

“The (Party) chairs file their list of candidates with the (Texas) Secretary of State. They have until Dec. 17 to get that information entered into the system. If a candidate has filed a petition instead of a filing fee, they have until Dec. 17 to verify that list of petitioners and to get that information into the Secretary of State’s website,” the elections administrator reported.

“What we are seeing on the website,” Lum continued, “is not a complete list. The list will be finalized on Dec. 17. Anyone can follow this list if they want to by going to the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.state.tx.us.”

In Anderson County, Sherriff Greg Taylor decided not to seek re-election and two candidates have filed to run in the Republican primary. The candidates are Rudy Flores and Jeff Taylor.

Doug Lightfoot has filed for re-election as Anderson County Constable Precinct Two in the Republican primary while Marvin Jenkins has filed in the Democratic primary.

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.