It’s not over until it’s over. And for some GOP primary races in East Texas, it won’t be over until May 24, the date of the primary runoff election.

Any March 1 race - in either party - that doesn’t end with one candidate getting a majority will go to a runoff. The top two candidates will face off, one-on-one, for Round 2.

In Smith County, the Precinct 4 constable race is going into a runoff. The top two candidates, incumbent Constable John Smith and challenger Josh Joplin will face off. Smith won 39.1 percent of the Precinct 4 GOP votes, while Joplin took 23.9 percent.

Also, early results indicated the Texas House District 5 race will go to a runoff, with Cole Hefner vying with Jay Misenheimer for the position.

Who can vote in a runoff? That gets a little complicated. Texas has open primaries, meaning that anyone can choose to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary. And that’s still true of the primary runoff, but voters have to be consistent.

If a voter cast a ballot in the March 1 GOP primary, then he or she can only participate in the GOP primary runoff. If a voter cast a ballot in the Democratic primary, he or she can participate in the Democratic runoff, if there is one.

But they can’t switch.

Voters who didn’t participate in either primary election can participate in either primary runoff.

The date for the runoff is May 24. For those who wish to vote but aren’t yet registered, the last day to register in order to participate in the runoff is Monday, April 25. Go to for more information on registering to vote.

Early voting for the primary runoff starts on Monday, May 16 and ends on Friday, May 20.

Now, here’s where it gets even more complicated. In between Tuesday’s primary and the May 24 runoff, there are the spring municipal and school board elections. This can be confusing, but these elections are unrelated. The May 7 city and school elections are nonpartisan. Voters don’t choose between political parties; they simply choose candidates.

For more information, visit the state’s elections website,, or Smith County’s website, at

Twitter: @TMT_Roy



Runoff Election Day: May 24

Early voting: Monday, May 16-Friday, May 20

Last Day to Register: Monday, April 25

For information:





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