Following strict COVID-19 guidelines, more than 14 statewide and local Democratic candidates gathered in Tyler on Saturday for a candidate caravan at Liberty Baptist Church.

N-95 masks were required, as well as proof of vaccination, to enter. 

Among those in attendance were two of the four Democrat candidates running for Louis Gohmert's congressional District 1 seat, Jrmarr Jefferson and Gavin Dass. Other Democrats on the ballot for Gohmert's seat include Victor Dunn and Stephen Kocen. 

Republican candidates for Gohmert's seat will be in Smith County on Thursday for a Congressional District 1 candidate forum hosted by Grassroots America. Aditya Atholi, Joe McDaniel, Nathaniel Moran, John Porro are set to be at the forum. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Conference Center. 

Also in attendance on Saturday were numerous Smith County, Texas House and statewide candidates. View a list of all candidates in the upcoming primaries here.

The Smith County Republican Party is hosting a Meet the Candidates night on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Montez Creekside.

Early voting in the primary elections begins Feb. 14 and end Feb. 25. Election Day is March 1. Early voting in the May general election, which includes two countywide constitutional amendments, begins April 25 and ends May 3. Election Day is May 7. 

Early voting for the runoff election, which includes precinct chair races, begins May 16 and ends May 20. Election Day is May 24. Early voting for the Gubernatorial election begins Oct. 24 and ends Nov. 4. Election Day is Nov. 8. 

Bilingual Multimedia Journalist

I cover COVID-19 and health in the East Texas area for Tyler Morning Telegraph, the Longview News-Journal and Tyler Paper Español. Stephen F. Austin State University alumna. For story ideas, email me at rtorres@tylerpaper.com.