Texas’ political season kicks into high gear Saturday.
That’s when candidates have their first chance to file for local, state and federal posts on ballots in the party primary elections.
“We say it every year, that it’s the most important election of our lives,” Tarrant County Republican Chairwoman Jennifer Hall said. “But this year, it really, truly is for Texas.
“We are seeing so much shift in different political views and different issues that people weren’t paying attention to before but they are now,” she said. “We need to get our message out and hear back from the electorate to make sure we are in tune and in touch with what’s going on.”
Party leaders encourage candidates to file sooner rather than later to clinch a spot on the ballot
Local Democrats say they’ve been rallying candidates and voters alike and can’t wait for Saturday.
“The first day of filing really signals the start of the campaign season,” county Democratic Chairwoman Deborah Peoples said. “We are pretty excited.
“We have been doing a lot of work with candidates and to get people engaged and encouraged,” she said. “I think we will have some nice races being run in 2016.”
The local Democratic headquarters will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday for candidates to file for a slot on next year’s ballot.
The local Republican headquarters will open 1-5 p.m. Saturday.
The filing period runs through 6 p.m. Dec. 14.
A key election year
The race for the White House will top the ballot.
Under that will be battles for all of Texas’ seats in the U.S. House, a Railroad Commission post, three Texas Supreme Court seats, three positions on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, eight on the State Board of Education, 16 in the state Senate, all seats in the Texas House and a host of other judicial positions.
Also on the ballot will be races for Tarrant County sheriff, county tax assessor-collector, two county commissioners posts and eight county constable positions.
Candidates running in districts entirely in Tarrant County file at party headquarters in Fort Worth. Candidates in districts that cover more than one county must file with state party headquarters in Austin. They formally register by paying a filing fee or turning in a petition of people who support their bid.
Next year is key for Democrats, Peoples said.
“In Tarrant County, the enthusiasm is high,” she said. “We are going to have candidates in a lot of races. Tarrant County Democrats haven’t given up hope. We are still fighting to turn Tarrant County blue.”
Hall said that Republicans have been doing well locally and nationwide, and said she believes that will continue next year.
“I think we are going to see some really good things,” she said. “The midterm elections went well and I think we will see continued growth in 2016.”
- Candidates who want to file for a position on the 2016 primary ballot may do so starting Saturday.
- Republicans may file from 1 to 5 p.m. at the county Republican headquarters, 2405 Gravel St., Fort Worth.
- Democrats may file from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the county Democratic headquarters, 2812 Race St., Fort Worth.