Pfluger Team Frets Low Early Voting Turnout
SAN ANGELO, TX — Early voting is light, said the elections office this morning. As of Tuesday at the close of the early voting location downtown, Tom Green County welcomed 4,122 early voters so far for the March 3 primary election. This development has the congressional candidate from San Angelo, August Pfluger, visiting popular San Angelo eateries Wednesday urging friends and local San Angeloans to go vote early and take their friends, too.
In Tom Green County, the race attracting the most attention is the election of a new sheriff. Sheriff David Jones is retiring. The two candidates are offering different perspectives on how the Tom Green Sheriff’s Office will be operated. J. Nick Hanna retired from the Texas Rangers and was appointed Chief Deputy and is the heir apparent for David Jones from appearances. Muncey is a lieutenant within the ranks of sheriff’s deputies attempting to be elected from the rank and file.
The race for CD-11 congressman has San Angelo politicos eying the turnout across the 29-county district. Of particular interest is how Tom Green County’s turnout compares to the turnout in the Midland and Odessa counties.
A high turnout here will be a positive development for August Pfluger, a San Angelo native who just separated from the active duty Air Force to run for outgoing Congressman Mike Conaway’s seat. He is facing a field of 9 opponents and the two strongest of his opponents are from Midland.
Brandon Batch and J. Ross Lacy, two well-known Midlanders, are considered Pfluger’s closest opponents. Batch told us last month his strategy is to perform well enough to be in a runoff with Pfluger, the presumed front-runner.
There are no public polls, but Pfluger dominates the field in fundraising with nearly $1.4 million. Midland’s J. Ross Lacy has raised $214,714 followed closely by Midland’s Brandon Batch who has raised $201,993.
Speaking on background, a senior member of Pfluger’s team cautioned that the campaign doesn’t want the talk about early voting participation to become a Midland vs. San Angelo issue. However, he admitted that Midland County early voting is performing slightly better than Tom Green County. As of Wednesday, Midland County reported 7164 out of about 85000 registered voters had voted early.
The assumption is, that even though Pfluger’s team believes he will perform well in the Permian Basin, there are still two well-financed candidates opposing him who are from there. A vote cast in San Angelo is more likely to be a vote for hometown candidate Pfluger. This is not as much the case in Midland or Odessa.
Odessa in Ector County is underperforming. As of Wednesday, only 3,775 of 76,396 registered voters had voted early.
Hood County, where Granbury is located and on the far eastern edge of CD-11, reported 4,626 in-person votes during early voting out of 41,451 registered voters as of Tuesday night.
In the Republican primary in the raucous 2016 Republican Primary where Donald Trump and Ted Cruz were at the top of the ticket, only 5,654 Tom Green County residents voted early. However, on election day, an additional 11,066 stood in long lines to cast their vote. The total turnout in the 2016 primary election was 19,861 voters, including the Democrats.
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