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Jefferson County candidates say they rely on early voting numbers because of today's cold
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
One of the races on the ballot in Jefferson County is the contest for the 252 criminal district court.
Layne Walker decided not to run for re-election.
Three Democratic candidates, Raquel West, Nathan Reynolds and Stella Morrison are seeking the nomination of their party.
The winner faces Republican Carolyn Wiedenfeld in November.
At the Jefferson County Courthouse, it was cold and not many voters were at the polls just an hour before they closed.
The low turnout will put the early voting numbers in an interesting position tonight.
The seat the candidates are going for was held by Judge Layne Walker for 11 years.
He stepped down in early January leaving the seat vacant and after tonight, and for the first time in a long time, we could get a clearer picture of who the new judge may be.
We spoke with two of the three Democratic candidates who say because of the frigid weather, they're relying mostly on early voting numbers.
Laughter seems to be one way these candidates and poll workers are staying warm outside the Johns Library voting location.
"I don't think we could've had a worse weather day today for the election but hopefully people will still get out," Raquel West, one Democratic candidate says.
"You need an umbrella and you need a windbreaker, and it's cold," Nathan Reynolds, another candidate says.
Both West and Reynolds braved the cold today, hoping to sway the last few voters in the 252 criminal district court race.
"I've been on the phones, calling people just to get them out in this nasty weather and get them to go vote even though it's rainy," West says.
"It's good to have the candidate and the workers here just to show you care and there are people who have not made up their mind," Reynolds said.
And no matter how cold, or even if it's just one voter they win over, both have a message for the people of Jefferson County.
"I'm going to bring a hard working administration, I'm going to bring fairness, I'm going to bring justice, I'm going to get the parties together," Reynolds says.
"I've always worked hard as an attorney, hold everyone's' feet to the fire when it's time to go to trial, make people go to trial and let people that you will be ready to work so that the attorneys will also be ready to work," West says.
The winner faces Republican Carolyn Wiedenfeld in the November general election.
If West or Wiedenfeld win, it would be the first female elected judge to hold the 252 district seat.
We tried reaching Stella Morrison, the third Democratic candidate for comment. She did not return our phone calls.