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Primary Election Day is tomorrow (Tue, Mar 5), and while turnout will no doubt be abysmal due to lack of enthusiasm for either of the main presidential contenders, this primary isn’t about that race. It’s about choosing who we sane people think is the best candidate to go up against, say, Sen. Ted Cruz or Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn or who should occupy three critical seats on the Texas Supreme Court. There’s always time and space for a blue wave if you just pause Netflix momentarily or get up off your couch.

Below are the major races to look out for on your ballot.

U.S. Senate — An important primary because it will decide who has the best chance to — finally — knock Ted Cruz out of the Senate and send him back to Cancun where he belongs. While there are nine Democratic candidates on the ballot, the top two are Colin Allred and Roland Gutierrez. Former football player Allred is currently a U.S. Congressman out of Dallas, and Guiterrez has been in the Texas legislature for years and is currently a State Senator who represents Uvalde, where a mass school shooting killed 19 students and two teachers in May 2022. Gutierrez has been passionately outspoken for that community and also represents a large swath of the Texas-Mexico border. He believes he has the experience to help solve the border crisis, and it’s worth noting that Allred recently supported a resolution that condemned Biden’s handling of the border. Allred, the clear frontrunner when it comes to fundraising as well as polling, is definitely the “safer” choice with a better chance against Cruz, but we encourage you to check out both candidates and decide for yourself.

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Tarrant County Sheriff — Sixty people have died in Tarrant County Jail since right-wing nut job Bill Waybourn took over in 2016. The most qualified candidate to potentially end his reign of terror is Patrick Moses. A retired executive with the Department of Homeland Security, Moses says he will “champion the creation of a Civilian Review Commission, which would investigate every act of excessive force, including deaths that occur in the county jail, and release a report to the public detailing the results of those investigations.” About time.

Tarrant County Commissioners Court (Precinct 1) — After 20 years serving as Precinct 1 Commissioner, Roy C. Brooks announced last year he would not be running for reelection. The best candidate to replace him is his longtime aide. In addition to strong support from Brooks himself, Roderick Miles is endorsed by three left-leaning city council members as well as beloved Fort Worthian and the Grandmother of Juneteenth Opal Lee.

Railroad Commissioner — By now many of us know this misnamed position is not about trains. It’s about regulating oil and gas and is hugely important for driving climate change policies. There are two Democrats running. Bill Burch is endorsed by many and has deep experience within the oil and gas industry as a consultant, while Katherine Culbert has been largely silent since entering the race. Burch is the most qualified and deserves your vote in this deceptively significant race.

Texas Supreme Court — There are three Texas Supreme Court spots up for election in November (Places 2, 4, 6), and all three are held by Republicans. It’s hard to overstate the importance of these races, as many of the ludicrous laws passed by our state legislature are contested in these courts and subsequently upheld by conservative judges. Only places 2 and 6 have more than one Democrat running. Place 2 is DaSean Jones vs. Randy Sarosdy. Both are strong candidates, but Sarosdy’s decades of experience as a corporate lawyer trying cases related to labor, intellectual property, and energy give him the edge. Place 6 pits Appeals Court Judge Bonnie Lee Goldstein against Hays County District Court Judge Joe Pool, who has run as a Republican before and doesn’t seem to understand what a role on the Texas Supreme Court would even mean. Goldstein is an extremely experienced and accomplished appellate judge and is ready to meet the moment.

U.S. House of Representatives (12th District) — With the retirement of longtime U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, Tarrant County Democrats have a nonzero chance to flip a long-held Republican seat in the House. Small business owner Sebastian Gehrig and homeless-housing coordinator Trey Hunt are vying to go up against what will most likely be popular Texas State Rep. Craig Goldman in November. Unfortunately, neither has much experience, but Gehrig is a former Air Force veteran with practical ideas about Texas’ energy future, Medicare expansion, and infrastructure. Of the two, he has the better chance against Goldman.

Texas House of Representatives (District 97) — Since current State Rep. Goldman (R-Fort Worth) is vying for Granger’s U.S. House seat, there are six newcomers, three Republican and three Democrat, running for this seat that represents much of southwest Tarrant County. All three Democratic candidates — Carlos Walker, William Thorburn, and Diane Symons — strongly support more state funding for public education and reducing teacher burnout and turnover by increasing teacher pay. Of the three, Walker is in the best position, in terms of fundraising, to go up against the Republican primary winner.

For more information about all the candidates and to build your own sample ballot, visit BallotReady.org/v or Vote411.org/texas.

Find your nearest polling place at teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP/mvp.do.

Come prepared to present one of seven acceptable forms of photo ID, including your Texas driver’s license, Texas ID card, passport, Texas handgun license, military ID card, citizenship certificate, or Texas election ID certificate. Please note that a student ID is not an approved form of identification.

This column reflects the opinions of the editorial board and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com. He will gently edit it for clarity and concision.

 

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