Governor Greg Abbott has postponed the runoff primary election until July 14, the same date as the special election for Texas State Senate District 14. The runoff election was originally scheduled for May 26, but has been postponed in conjunction with the state's ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Although there are no local Democratic Party runoffs in Henderson County, Chairwoman Kelley Townsend said the voters will take part in the U.S. Senate runoff. MJ Hegar and Royce West are on the ballot to see who will challenge U.S. Senator John Cornyn in November.
Republicans decide the winner of County Commissioner Precinct 1 between Wendy Kinabrew Spivey and Keith Pryor and Precinct 4, matching Mark Richardson and Kelly Harris.
This is the second time this decade that a runoff has been delayed. The first was in 2012 when the state was in the midst of the redistricting fight following the 2010 Census.
Republican Precinct 1 Commissioner Scotty Thomas won a runoff against Ken Hayes on July 31. Thomas, out polled Ken Hayes 880 to 780 and went on to defeat Democrat David McLaun in the General Election. Also in the 2012 runoff, Republican Precinct 3 Constable David Grubbs defeated challenger Rick Carver by 14 votes, 654 to 640.
The postponement of the 2020 runoff election serves to help fulfill the Governor's recent executive orders mandating certain obligation for Texans that are aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, including the encouragement of social distancing. The governor's office explained that the runoff in May would cause the congregation of large gatherings of people in confined spaces and cause numerous election workers to come into close proximity with others. This would threaten the health and safety of many Texans.
Early voting for the postponed runoff primary election will begin Monday, July 6, 2020.