Early voting begins today; local races, props on ballots

Early voting for the November midterm election begins today.

Among a slew of state and federal candidates are a handful of local races on the ballot, including the fight for the county’s highest elective seat: Hidalgo County judge.

Republican candidate Jane Cross will face off against Democratic nominee Richard Cortez. Cross is an outspoken real estate businesswoman and a former communications professor at the University of Texas-Pan American, now University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, while Cortez is a certified public accountant and a former mayor and commissioner for the city of McAllen.

Voters will also decide whether Hidalgo County Drainage District No. 1 can issue $190 million in bonds for a number of drainage improvements across the area. The aim is to address the flooding problems that plagued the area earlier this year.

In Edinburg, residents will have some important decisions to make for both the city and school elections. The Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District has four seats up for grab — places 1, 2, 3, and 5 — while the city has four propositions on the ballot.

Prop A proposes a charter amendment, which would take residents’ power to elect a municipal judge and give it to the council for appointment. Prop B sets term limits for elected officials, and both Prop C and D ask voters for bond issuances. Prop C requests $20 million for drainage improvements, while Prop D asks voters for $10 million for roadway improvements.

The city is hosting three town halls this week to give voters the opportunity to ask questions about the propositions. The meetings are scheduled for Oct. 22 at Edinburg City Hall, 415 W. University Drive, Oct. 23 at Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library, 1906 S. Closner Blvd., and Oct. 24 at Edinburg Scenic Wetlands & World Birding Center, 714 S. Raul Longoria Road.

Voters can cast their ballots at any of the 32 early voting locations and two mobile polling sites located throughout the county. Early voting period runs until Nov. 2 and Election Day is Nov. 6. For more information, visit www.hidalgocounty.us.