Coming soon to a ballot box near you: Brown vs. Torres

When the Democratic primary polls open in April, longtime incumbent Howard County Precinct 1 Commissioner Emma Brown will take on challenger Larry Torres for the Democratic nomination to represent the seat on the ballot in November.

Assuming a Republican challenger doesn't file before the primaries, the fate of the seat could be decided in April, as the winner of the election would go unopposed in November.

Brown, an 18-year veteran of the commissioners court, filed to run for re-election earlier this month, citing unfinished business — most specifically the construction of a $2.7 million joint law enforcement center that will house both county and city law enforcement agencies under one roof — as her central reason for filing.

“It's often hard to boil it down to just one issue, but I think it's safe to say I feel like I have some business to finish,” Brown said. “I'd like to stay and see this project, the joint law enforcement center, completed. The commissioners court has put a lot of time and effort in on this project.”

For Brown to serve another term, however, she will have to make it through the primary and past Torres, who works as a jailer at the county detention center.

Torres said he feels his job gives him a unique perspective on county government. “I have a lot of frustration with the local government,” Torres said.

“There just doesn't seem to be a lot of common sense. I think that's what spurred me on and got me thinking about running for commissioner. I just want to try to make a difference. I feel like I can make a positive impact."

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