Gov. Greg Abbott has postponed the May 26 runoff election in response to a growing outbreak of coronavirus in Texas.
The runoff date is now July 14, Abbott’s office announced. While many Texas counties have both Democratic and Republican runoff races approaching, Nacogdoches County has only a Democratic runoff.
Former Air Force helicopter pilot M.J. Hegar and Texas State Sen. Royce West are vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in November. Roberto Alonzo and Chrysta Castaneda are seeking the Democratic nomination for Railroad Commissioner, the winner running against Republican James Wright in November.
Runoffs generally produce low voter turnout, County Elections Administrator Todd Stallings says, “unless you have an exciting local contest like what we saw for county judge in 2018.”
The last four Democratic runoffs drew fewer than 500 voters.
Meanwhile, an assortment of May 2 city and school elections have been given the option to move them to the Nov. 3 election date — something local entities are mulling over, though several appear to be leaning toward moving forward with the May 2 date.
As of Tuesday, those included Appleby, where a push for alcohol sales gained momentum by getting on the ballot after a successful petition. Garrison ISD, which is holding a $12 million bond election, as of Monday hasn’t opted to postpone. Small rural communities are unlikely to exceed gatherings of 10 people during voting.