Commissioner Brown files for re-election

Incumbent Howard County Precinct 1 Commissioner Emma Brown filed to run for re-election Monday, setting up at least one local contest on the Democratic political party primary.Brown, a longtime member of the commissioners court, will face off against local resident Larry Torres in the Democratic primary, which has been tentatively set for April 3 by state officials. Torres is a jailer with the Howard County Detention Center, according to Walter Shipman, chairman of the Howard County Democratic Party.Seats up for election in the 2012 election include 118th Judicial District Attorney, currently held by Hardy Wilkerson; Howard County sheriff, held by Stan Parker; county attorney, held by Joshua Hamby; tax assessor collector, held by Kathy Sayles; Precinct 3 county commissioner, held by Jimmie Long; and Precinct 1 county commissioner, held by Brown.Parker has filed to run for re-election, as have Long, Green and Wilkerson.Howard County Elections Administrator Saundra Bloom confirmed Monday that local resident M.O. Horton has filed to run against Parker for the office of sheriff, however, repeated attempts to reach both Horton and Howard County Republican Party Chairman Craig Bailey were unsuccessful.While the filing period to run for office in this year's primaries came to a close Monday evening, state officials have declared there will be one last chance for political hopefuls who want to toss their hats in the ring in 2012.Filing deadlines, along with other key election dates, have been changed several times since lawsuits regarding election district boundaries were filed in three federal courts.U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, on behalf of a three-judge panel in federal court in San Antonio, said candidates will have yet another opportunity to file for office once the boundaries are made final.“The court will reopen the filing period at a later time, at which time applications may be filed, amended or withdrawn,’’ Garcia said in the four-page order.Unfortunately, no one knows when the trial will end, leaving members of the election community with only the closing date of the deadline — Feb. 1 — to concentrate on.“It's all going to depend on how long it takes the trial to be heard,” Bloom said Monday. “This secondary filing period could last a week, and it could last a day. Right now there's simply no way to know. All we know for sure right now is Feb. 1 will be the final day to file.”The date currently set aside for the primaries — April 3 — is also subject to change, according to Bloom.“Everyone I've talked to with the state has urged us to use extreme caution when it comes to the April 3 date,” Bloom said. “That date could change very, very easily. So much of this is still very much up in the air.”