Confused by the large number of signs posted all over Wharton County on behalf of local political candidates? The Wharton County Republican Party will host two public political forums that could provide some clarity for residents before early voting starts Tuesday, Feb. 18 and before election day on Tuesday, March 3.

The first forum will be held Thursday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Mikeska’s Bar-B-Q in El Campo, 22730 U.S. 59.

The second will be Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Grace Community Fellowship in Wharton, 1900 E. Boling Hwy.”

The public may visit with the candidates by stopping by their tables before and shortly following the forum.

Candidates for the contested offices of district attorney, sheriff, tax assessor-collector, Precinct 1, 2 and 3 commissioner and Precinct 1 constable will give opening statements and be asked a number of questions, to be followed by a closing statement. If an opponent levels a charge, the candidate that allegation was directed at will be allowed to respond.

Several candidates do not have challengers, but will be allowed to make a statement by way of introducing themselves to the audience.

“The Wharton County Republican Party is happy to be able to sponsor this community service. We feel it is important that voters be as informed as possible before making their decisions at the ballot box,” Don Al Middlebrook, party chairman, said.

“Also, we are always looking for residents who might have an interest in serving as precinct chairs or volunteering in other ways. I will be happy to visit with anyone interested,” he added.

Wharton County GOP Candidates

The following offices are contested during the Wharton County Republican Primary Election:

•District Attorney: incumbent Dawn Allison and challenger John Maher.

•Sheriff: incumbent Shannon Srubar and challenger Robert Macek Jr.

•Tax Assessor-Collector: Cindy Hernandez, Sarah Hudgins and Jessica Schulze.

•Pct. 1 Commissioner: incumbent Richard Zahn and challenger Bill Joines.

•Pct. 2 Commissioner (to fill the term of the late Chris King): Billy “Bubba” Broesche, W.D. “Bud” Graves and Johnnie Heimann Jr. 

•Pct. 3 Commissioner: incumbent Steven Goetsch and challengers Matt Lutringer and Rudy Ochoa.

•Pct. 1 Constable (to fill the position of Mike Hubenak who is retiring): Tim Arriaga, William “Bill” Copeland and Carlos Ortiz.

The following candidates are running unopposed:

•Pct. 2 Constable: John Szymanski.

•Pct. 3 Constable: Robert Holder.

•Pct. 4 Constable: Shawn Ferguson.

•County Attorney: Trey Maffett.

Note: for information on receiving a mail-in ballot, call Wharton County Election Administrator Cindy Richter at 979-532-0193. The last day to request a ballot from the election administrator is Tuesday, Feb. 18. The marked ballot must be received by her office March 3 if not postmarked, or March 4 at 5 p.m. if postmarked.

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