Terry County voters will have an interesting ballot when election day rolls around in November.
In addition to a bond election for a new hospital, local voters also will choose a new State Senator and Representative after months of political shuffling, following Robert Duncan’s transition to Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.
Duncan’s new role leaves his seat in the Texas Senate open and Charles Perry, current House member representing District 83 -- of which Brownfield and Terry County are a part -- has announced his intent to run for the position.
That, in turn, leaves the District 83 House seat open as well and several people have expressed interest in the vacancy.
It will be left to the voters of Dist. 83 to pick who to send to Austin to fill Perry’s seat, but it will be left to seven county Republican Party chairmen to provide a name for the ballot.
Brad Moore, chairman of the Terry County Republican Party, told the Brownfield News Tuesday that the process to place a name on the ballot is underway, but several deadlines are looming.
“Charles Perry tells me he is going to resign his position on the ballot in the first week of August,” Moore said. “When that happens, the state party will send a directive to the county chairs of Dist. 83 and we will have a directive to fill that vacancy on the ballot.”
District 83 includes all of Borden, Gaines, Lynn, Mitchell, Scurry and Terry counties and parts of rural Lubbock County.
Complicating the process, two of those counties have to nominate a person to participate in the selection process, according to Moore.
Carl Tepper, the Republican Party Chairman of Lubbock County is ineligible to participate in the nominating process, because he doesn’t reside in the portion of Lubbock County included in Dist. 83.
The Lubbock County Republican Party will convene soon to nominate an eligible person to meet with the other county chairmen to make the decision.
In Borden County, the former Republican Party Chair didn’t run for re-election on the last ballot, so Republicans in that county will also have to nominate a representative for the process.
While all these things are in the works, the clock is ticking.
Moore said the county chairs have until 5 p.m., August 25 to deliver a name to the state to replace Perry on the ballot.
In the unlikely event that the seven county representatives can’t agree on a name or fail to provide one, the state party will then have three days to nominate someone.
Moore said he is hosting several of the county chairs at his office this week to discuss the position and added that half a dozen potential candidates already have contacted him and the other county chairs.
Former Dist. 83 Rep. Delwin Jones has publicly announced his intent to seek the nomination, as has Sandra Ziegler, a former staffer to U.S. Senator Phil Gramm.
Others who have thrown their name in the hat, according to Moore, are Alan Adkins, Jane Cansino, Zack Brady and Dustin Burrows.
Whomever is selected for the ballot will require a simple majority vote of the county chairs, so only four of the seven must agree on who that person will be.
If Perry resigns his ballot spot in early August, the county chairs will have roughly three weeks to name his replacement.
“It’s a pretty small window,” Moore said. “But there have been discussions on this subject since January, so we’ll figure it out.”