Republican candidates, mostly incumbents, dominated the first week of filings for a multitude of races that will come before McLennan County voters next year in a March 6 primary and Nov. 6 general election.

The ballot will include races for district judges, county commissioners, constables, justices of the peace and other local offices.

Among the contested races so far, District Attorney Abel Reyna faces a Republican challenger in former Dallas attorney Barry Johnson.

Also, a Republican and a Democrat have filed for a chance to take over the seat Precinct 2 County Commissioner Lester Gibson has held since 1990. Gibson, a Democrat, has said this is his last term in office after having held the seat for almost three decades.

Republican Gina Ford, of Axtell, and Democrat Patricia “Pat” Chisolm-Miller, of Waco, filed for the race this week. Several others have announced intentions to run but have not yet filed with their respective parties.

No candidate filing is official until the local party chairman has verified the candidate’s information.

Candidates can file with the McLennan County Democratic Party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the party office, 3321 Franklin Ave.. Candidates can file with the McLennan County Republican Party from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays at the party office, 539 N. Valley Mills Drive. Both parties will extend their hours to 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the last day to file, Dec. 11.

The last day to register to vote is Feb. 5.

Cassie L. Smith has covered county government for the Tribune-Herald since June 2014. She previously worked as a reporter for the Beaumont Enterprise and The Eagle in Bryan-College Station. Smith graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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