AUSTIN, Texas - A record number of people, 15.2 million have registered to vote in the Texas Primary Election.
Early voting ends Mar. 2 with Election Day on Mar. 6.
Governor Greg Abbott emerged from early voting Monday morning with state representative Paul Workman by his side. Both face challengers in their primary races this year, and Abbott is going across the state endorsing candidates like the Travis County Republican.
"Well its important as I go about the campaign process in some of these hotly contested races that I want to work with people in those districts to let them know exactly the challenges I’m facing in dealing with some of these representatives and hence the need for some changes in the capitol,” said Governor Abbott.
On the ballots the two party primaries feature several contested races. One of the largest is the open Congressional District 21 seat. More than a dozen Republicans are vying for the nomination. Texas Democrats are also facing some big decisions, especially in finding strong candidates to put on the November ballot for Governor and the U.S. Senate.
Fifteen years ago, the GOP Primary seemed to be more of a formality for most candidates but now the Republican Party appears to be fractured, giving Democrats a little bit of hope that just maybe this year, there will be a statewide win in the cards for them. But one longtime Republican, who rode the Red Wave years ago, believes something else is going on.
"We are going to have differences, and there is nothing wrong with that,” said Jerry Patterson who is trying to get his old job back.
Two other candidates have joined Patterson in challenging incumbent George P. Bush to be the GOP Land Commissioner nominee. Bush was on the gulf coast Monday and according to a spokesman is not concerned about any harsh rhetoric from challengers. Patterson even downplayed the tough talk on the campaign trail.
"I think it’s kind of natural, when you become the dominate party in one state, and I suspect the Democrats were the same way, as I recall that they were, you know back then they had 2 parties in Texas, Conservative Democrats and Liberal Democrats,” said Patterson.
While much of the focus certainly is on the candidates- there are several propositions on the ballot, from both Parties, worth reading more than once. Most are broadly written hot button questions which include; protecting undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers. Abolishing all Abortions. Replacing property taxes, and regulating the use of restrooms. Results will be used by both parties during the next legislative session in order to justify political agendas.
Bring your ID to the polls. There are seven approved types; A Texas Driver's License, an ID card issued by DPS or an election identification certificate, a state gun permit, military ids with a photo, as well as a U.S. citizenship certificate with photo, or a U.S. Passport.