DALLAS - Early voting for the Texas primary elections starts Tuesday across the state.
For the presidential candidates, Texas is the biggest delegate prize of the 12 states holding primaries on Super Tuesday. SMU political science professor Cal Jillson talked about what he thinks will happen on the Republican side.
“We have a favorite son, Sen. Ted Cruz, who’s expected to win. But Donald Trump is also expected to do well. So it’s between those two for the top two spots. And then there are lots of other people,” he said.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is hoping for a strong showing in Texas. He has close family ties to the Lone Star State because of his brother.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will also be looking to exceed expectations in Texas and Ohio Gov. John Kasich still has hope of becoming the Republican candidate that the party establishment rallies around. Running a strong third in Texas would give him a big boost, but there are questions about his electoral strength in the southern states.
For the Democrats, Jillson said Hillary Clinton is expected to win by a comfortable margin over her rival Sen. Bernie Sanders. But the Democratic race has also been full of surprises this year and Sanders claimed a symbolic victory here by narrowing the gap between himself and the former secretary of state.
The unpredictable presidential election has also helped to generate lots of interest in several heated local races.
There will be a hard fought battle for a seat on the Dallas County Commissioners Court. District 3 incumbent John Wiley Price is facing a strong challenge from former Dallas City Councilmember Dwaine Caraway.
Price is currently under federal indictment for public corruption, including bribery and tax evasion. But he has a long history of representing his South Dallas district.
Jillson expects Price to fend off Caraway in this contest. Balch Springs Mayor Cedric Davis and developer Micah B Phillips are also running for the seat.
Lots of people are also watching the battle for Tarrant County sheriff closely. The incumbent, Dee Anderson, is facing the possibility of losing the nomination to challenger Bill Waybourn.
Waybourn was police chief in Dalworthington Gardens for 31 years before retiring in September. Waybourn has received a number of endorsements from law enforcement groups, along with former Gov. Rick Perry.
Early voting gets underway Tuesday morning and runs through Feb. 26. The primary itself is March 1.