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BOTH RACES IN FRIO FEATURE THREE CANDIDATES
Despite there being three candidates vying for election to the office of Frio County judge this month, a plurality will be all that is required to take office on January 1.
According to the office of the Texas secretary of state, county and state government general election candidates do not require more than 50 percent of the vote in order to be declared winners.
In Frio County, the November 8 general election features candidates representing the Republican Party and the Democratic Party as well as in independent for the office of county judge. In the race for election to the office of Precinct 4 county commissioner, a Democrat and a Republican are on the ballot as well as a write-in candidate who has met eligibility requirements set forth under the Texas Election Code.
Section 2.001 of the code indicates that a candidate for election need only garner more votes than any other candidate for the office. The rule was drafted for the Texas 69th Legislature in 1985 and became effective on January 1, 1986.
The code also indicates that a second election need only be held in the event of a tied vote.
The plurality rule applied to the general election differs from the rule used to determine the winner of the primary elections, where a party nominee is selected based on having earned more than 50 percent of the vote among those casting ballots in their respective political party. In that event – such as occurred in Frio County earlier this year – a crowded field of candidates resulting in none taking more than the required 50.1 percent for a party nomination, a run-off election was called for.
The independent candidate in the election for county judge was not subject to a party primary and appears on the ballot in that bid for the first time on Nov. 8. A second independent candidate who had indicated intent to run in the general election has not met eligibility requirements.
The Frio-Nueces Current published an article on October 27 erroneously indicating that a run-off election could be held later in the fall to determine the winner of the general election. A correction has since been provided by the county’s elections administrator, Carlos Segura, who indicated in an email on Oct. 27 that the plurality rule applies to the Nov. 8 general election and that he had sought confirmation from the secretary of state’s office to that effect.
There were 9,124 registered voters in the county in October, according to the elections administrator, and the deadline for potential voters to register passed on Tuesday, Oct. 11. The total number of voters in Frio County may change daily, Segura said, based on reports from the secretary of state’s office, where registrants who met the deadline are still being counted.
Segura said the final tally will also need to take into account those who have died since registering to vote.
All registered voters in Frio County may cast ballots in the race for judge, while only those living in Pct. 4 will decide who will be their next county commissioner.
The commissioner’s precinct includes ballot boxes 9 and 10, whose total registered voters as of last week was 2,239, the administrator said.
Candidates for election in the Frio County government race for county judge, in the order they are listed on the ballot, include Jessica Villanueva for the Republican Party, Rochelle Lozano Camacho for the Democratic Party, and independent Jose Asuncion. The candidates for Pct. 4 commissioner are Roy Kallio for the Republican Party, Danny Cano for the Democratic Party, and Joe Obregon as eligible for write-in votes.
Obregon’s name is listed as “Joe O” in the county elections administrator’s office register for counting write-in votes, meaning that voters may choose to write only the first letter of the candidate’s last name when filling out a ballot.
The erroneous statement published in the Frio-Nueces Current on Oct. 27 was the result of an editorial addition and had not been included by the article’s listed author.