Voters must register to vote by Monday for March primaries

Residents hoping to take part in the 2020 primary elections next month during Super Tuesday must sign up by the end of the day Monday, the voter registration deadline. State law mandates voters must register at least 30 days before an election.

Voters may fill out a voter registration application at the Hidalgo County Elections Department office, 101 S. 10th Ave. in Edinburg, at any Texas Department of Public Safety office or at a local library.

And though Texas does not yet offer online voter registration, residents can download the application online from the Texas Secretary of State website and mail it in with a Feb. 3 postmark to be eligible to vote March 3.

The primaries will decide who among a bevy of candidates will appear on the November 2020 ballot in several hotly contested national and local races.

Half a dozen Republican candidates have made their way onto the Texas ballot to challenge President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, the Democratic field continues to shift, with candidates such as Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker announcing the ends of their campaigns within the last two months, while former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in November announced the beginning of his.

And in news of the weird, a father and son duo have both tossed their names in the primaries ring for president, but on opposite sides of the aisle: Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente Guerra is running on the GOP ticket, while his son, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente is running as a Democrat. It’s not the first presidential run for the elder De La Fuente, who in 2016 campaigned as a Democrat.

Texas’ senior Sen. John Cornyn, a Republican, has drawn four challengers within his own party, while an even dozen candidates are vying to run as the Democratic challenger in November.

In other races, several long-tenured moderate Democratic incumbents are seeing challenges mounted by more progressive members of their party.

For instance, in U.S. House District 28, Congressman Henry Cuellar — who has held his seat since 2004 — is facing his former intern in the March primaries, immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros. The winner will face the lone Republican candidate, Sandra Whitten.

And in the state Senate, Eddie Lucio Jr., who was first elected in 1991, is being challenged by Sara Stapleton Barrera and Ruben Cortez. The winner will face Republican Vanessa Tijerina.

Campaign workers at Fireman’s Park on Tuesday Nov. 6, 2018, in McAllen.

Meanwhile, the race for Hidalgo County sheriff is heating up, as incumbent J.E. “Eddie” Guerra faces off against Frank Guerrero and Raul Salinas. The winner will go on to challenge the lone GOP candidate, Ezequiel “Zeik” Jurado come November.

Hidalgo County voters will also select judges for two new courts approved by the Texas legislature during the last session.

Running for County Court at Law No. 9 are Patricia “Patty” O’Caña-Olivarez and Abiel Flores. With no Republican challengers, the primary winner will determine who the new judge will be. Likewise, the sole candidate for the new County Court at Law No. 10 is Armando J. Marroquin.

In Starr County, Omar Escobar, the district attorney for the 229th Judicial District, is being challenged by attorney Gocha Ramirez for that seat. The race drew no Republican challengers.

Voters may find the complete list of primary races by contacting their local elections department.

As of the end of January, Hidalgo County had a total of 377,118 registered voters, county records show. Early voting begins Monday, Feb. 17 and runs continuously — including Saturday and Sunday — through Friday, Feb. 28. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout early voting, except on Sunday, Feb. 23, when they will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

With countywide voting now available, Hidalgo County voters may cast their ballots at any one of 28 polling places throughout the county. For a full list of polling places, visit the county’s election department online at HidalgoCounty.US/105/ElectionsDepartment and click on the 2020 March 3 Primary Elections banner at the top of the page.

In Starr County voters may cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at any of four polling places during early voting. For more information, residents may call the elections department at (956)716-4800.