Early voting for the May 29 Texas primaries begins today and continues until May 25. The primaries will determine the candidates for state, county and national offices when voters go to the polls during the general election on Nov. 6.

In Smith County, one of the key elections is for the sheriff’s office, which has been occupied for the past 35 years by Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith. Smith is retiring at the end of this term.

Four candidates are seeking the office, including Chief Sheriff Deputy Bobby Garmon, former Texas Game Warden Chris Green, former ATF agent Larry Smith, and Smith County Deputy Constable Donn Rust.

Another key local election includes that for State Representative, District 6, a spot currently held by longtime local representative Leo Berman, R-Tyler. Berman is being challenged by fellow Republican Matt Schaefer.

July 31 has been designated as the primary runoff election date.