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Despite polls opening late, Governor's race tops list for critical March 4 primary elections in Texas

Why the GOP is paying attention to the Texas primaries

Though it may have gotten a slow start due in part to this morning's nasty weather, March 4 is indeed primary elections day in Texas, and it's a voting day that has earned national attention for the trends it represents in the Republican party.

The biggest race is for governor, where Wendy Davis will likely blaze in as the Democratic candidate and Attorney General Greg Abbott will bag the slot as her Republican opponent, followed by the race for U.S. Senator, which has drawn seven Republican candidates — mostly members of the tea party — challenging incumbent John Cornyn.

Other races include lieutenant governor, comptroller, attorney general, land commissioner, railroad commissioner and agriculture commissioner.

The lieutenant governor race has four candidates, including incumbent David Dewhurst (who was jeered in August 2013 after he called the Allen police department and tried to pull strings for a relative who had been arrested), plus Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and State Sen. Dan Patrick. The latter recently set Twitter abuzz when he accidentally tweeted what seemed to be an endorsement of gay marriage.

The race for land commissioner also marks the political debut of George P. Bush, sire to the great GOP family. In addition to being the shining beacon of light in the next generation of Bushes, George P.'s mother is Mexican and he speaks fluent Spanish, something that may garner the GOP much needed support from Hispanic voters.

In Texas, only the Democratic and Republican parties hold primary elections. Others, including the Libertarian and Green parties, nominate candidates at their conventions.

Polls opened four hours late in Austin, due to bad weather. Meanwhile, Texas recently implemented new voter ID requirements. You must be a registered voter and present one of the following forms of photo ID:

  • Texas driver's license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
  • Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
  • Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
  • Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
  • United States military identification card containing your photograph
  • United States citizenship certificate containing your photograph
  • United States passport

If you show up to vote without a photo ID,  you'll be given a chance to go home and get it. Polls are open until 9 pm, and you can find your polling place online.