As the deadline for candidates to file for office came to a close Monday, several local races, including one for a newly created Central Texas House district, are shaping up to have a competitive flavor.
Angelia Orr, 52, a former Hill County district clerk from Itasca, was the first to jump into the race for the new Texas House District 13, which wraps around McLennan County but includes 60,600 residents of East Waco, eastern McLennan County south of West and takes in Baylor and parts of South Waco. It also includes all of Bosque, Hill, Limestone, Falls, Freestone and Leon counties.
Former Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson, 66, who retired after a 45-year law enforcement career, including 20 as sheriff, will compete with Orr in the March Republican Party primary.
The winner will face either Marlin City Manager Cedric Davis, 54, a former candidate for Texas governor, or Cuevas Peacock, 31, director of community relations at Baylor University, who are squaring off in the Democratic primary.
The 2022 primary election is March 1 in Texas. The runoff election date is May 24, and the general election is Nov. 8.
Seven-term State Rep. Charles Anderson, 76, R-Waco, represents most of McLennan County and regained the West area as part of his District 56 in this year’s redistricting process. He has no primary opposition but will face Democratic candidate Erin Shank, 64, a Waco bankruptcy attorney, in the general election.
In the race for McLennan County District Attorney, first-term Republican incumbent Barry Johnson is being challenged by Waco attorney Josh Tetens. The winner will face Democratic candidate Aubrey Robertson in November.
Susan Kelly, who Gov. Greg Abbott appointed judge of 54th State District Court in January, faces a primary challenge from felony prosecutor Christi Hunting Horse, while McLennan County Court-at-Law No. 3 Judge Ryan Luna, who was appointed by the commissioners court, is opposed by Kristi DeCluitt, a prosecutor and former assistant city attorney, in the Republican primary.
In other contested races, Democratic Precinct 2 McLennan County Commissioner Pat Miller will face a familiar opponent in November in Republican challenger D.L. Wilson, who ran against Miller four years ago. Precinct 4 County Commissioner Ben Perry and McLennan County Judge Scott Felton face no opposition.
Lucy Sanchez and Cameron Fillmore will tangle in the Democratic primary to determine who will face Republican Jessica R. Dominguez in the race to succeed Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Fernando Villarreal, who is retiring after 30 years in office.
Precinct 4 Constable Charlie Guerrero, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Stan Hickey, will face retired Texas Ranger Matt Cawthon in the Republican primary, while Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Brian Richardson is opposed by Julissa West, also in the Republican primary.
Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace James E. Lee Jr., a Democrat, faces opposition from Republican C.L. Chase.
Those running unopposed include 10th Court of Appeals Justice Steve Smith, 170th State District Judge Jim Meyer, 414th State District Judge Vicki Menard, County Court-at-Law No. 1 Judge Vik Deivanayagam, County Court-at-Law Judge No. 2 Brad Cates, McLennan County District Clerk Jon Gimble, McLennan County Clerk Andy Harwell and Treasurer Bill Helton.
Others running unopposed include Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson, Justice of the Peace Dianne Hensley, Justice of the Peace David Pareya, Constable David Maler, Constable Walt Strickland, Constable John Johnson, Constable Freddie Cantu, Republican Party Chairman Brad Holland and Mark Hayes, the lone candidate to replace Democratic Party Chairperson Mary Duty.
Update: This story has been corrected to indicate the McLennan County Commissioners Court appointed Ryan Luna as judge of McLennan County Court at Law No. 3.