Campaigns down to the wire as Election Day approaches

By Marilyn Tennissen | Oct 28, 2014

With only a few days left of early voting, Jefferson County residents are heading to the polls.

As of press time Oct. 28, early voting totals had surpassed 20,000 votes cast. There are 146,039 registered voters in Jefferson County. 

Among the 12 early voting locations, the majority of the votes were cast at Rogers Park Community Center.  In that location in the West End of Beaumont, there were 5,251 early votes cast. The zip codes in the West End generally vote Republican, but early voters can cast their ballots from any early voting location, so it remains to be seen if that is an indication of how the county will vote on Tuesday.

All together, there have been 20,432 early votes and 3,414 mail ballots returned for a total of 23,846 in eight days of early voting.

Residents of Jefferson County are faced with several contested local races. Judges are being chosen for the 58th and 172nd civil courts, the 252nd Criminal District Court and a Criminal District Judge. The family courts are up as well, with candidates running for the 279th and 317th District Courts. Three of Jefferson County Courts at Law are electing judges as well.

Voters are also picking a Criminal District Attorney, a County Clerk, a District Clerk, a Tax Assessor-Collector/Voter Registrar and a County Treasurer.

But perhaps the biggest race on most Texas voters’ minds is the battle for governor between Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, and state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat.

Both sides have spent millions on campaign ads, and Abbott spent $17 million in the last four weeks alone. His final financial report shows he still has about $13 million in his coffers, while Davis reports about $1 million.

Davis got last minute contributions as well, including $125,000 from Houston attorney Steve Mostyn and $100,000 from the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

According to an eight-day survey conducted by YouGov, CBS and the New York Times, Abbott has an 18-point lead over Davis. Despite the many women’s issues in her campaign, 49 percent of the women polled did not support Davis.

The survey took place just a few days after Davis released a campaign ad that accused Abbott, who is confined to wheel chair after an accident, of profiting off his disability. Davis was blasted in the press for the ad.

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