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Cooke County Republican Women will host a candidate forum Thursday, Jan. 7, for the Texas House District 68 special election coming later this month.

Given the short notice for the Jan. 23 special election to fill the seat being vacated by state Senator-elect Drew Springer, R-Muenster, the club has converted its previously scheduled January meeting into a Republican candidate forum.

The club will invite all Republican candidates as they file for a place on the ballot, according to a CCRW press release.

The forum will take place at 7 p.m. at Cross Timbers Church, 6134 Farm-to-Market Road 922, Valley View (on the south side of FM 922 between Valley View and Mountain Springs). Members and the general public are encouraged to attend and meet the candidates.

The club also plans to livestream the forum on Facebook.

Two candidates have officially filed for a place on the Jan. 23 ballot and two more have announced their intent to do so.

John Berry, a financial planner from Jacksboro, and Craig Carter, president of the Old Boot Factory in Nocona, are listed as Republican candidates for the HD-68 seat, according to information on the Texas Secretary of State’s website.

Cooke County Judge Jason Brinkley and Jacksboro attorney David Spiller have also announced their intent to run.

The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 4.

As with the recent election for state senator, candidates of any party affiliation can file. A candidate must garner a clear majority to win outright. If no candidate gets over 50% of the votes cast, the Texas Secretary of State will schedule a runoff election between the top two vote-getters.

Early voting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Jan. 11-15, and Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the Cooke County Courthouse Annex, 112 S. Dixon St.

Election Day is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23.

Those who wish to vote by mail need to file a new Application for Ballot By Mail with the Cooke County Clerk as soon as possible. More information is available by calling the clerk’s office at 940-668-5437.

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