Denton County voters are gearing up to hit the polls — again.
Dale Chegwidden, an investigator in the district attorney’s office, will face Doug Boydston, a Denton police officer, in the July 31 Republican primary runoff for constable in Precinct 5.
In the May 29 election, Chegwidden received 44 percent of the votes, only slightly more than Boydston’s 42.4 percent. Precinct 5 Deputy Constable George Riojas received 13.6 percent of the votes.
Early voting starts Monday.
The candidates seek to replace Constable Ken Jannereth, who was denied his peace officer’s license in April following a February 2010 criminal mischief conviction.
Precinct 5 covers the largest area among the county’s six precincts, spanning the northern part of the county from the Wise County line to the Collin County line. It includes parts of the city of Denton.
“I’m still pretty much the same,” Boydston said of preparing for the runoff. “We’ve got to get the voters back out. I know people are tired of going to the polls; it’s drug on so long.”
Boydston, a 49-year-old resident of Sanger, has been a Denton officer for more than 26 years and is assigned as bailiff and warrants officer for the municipal court.
Chegwidden, a 50-year-old Bolivar resident, has been in law enforcement since 1986. He served as a Denton County sheriff’s deputy, jailer, patrol officer, K-9 officer and field training officer before moving to the district attorney’s office in 1999.
Chegwidden said his main concern, if elected, is to continue to work well with the justice of the peace, working hand in hand whenever the constable’s office is in need, making sure warrants are served in a timely manner and providing security to the court.
Both candidates acknowledged that voter turnout was predicted to be low because of back-to-back elections and delays this year.
“I am hoping there will be a decent turnout, but we will work with what we can,” Chegwidden said.
Boydston said he thought more local voters would come out for the Republican U.S. Senate runoff between David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz than for the constable runoff.
“I hope that brings more people out and people will educate themselves on the constable race, too, and make a decision based on qualifications and who is better for the job rather than just checking a box,” he said.
Boydston said he has spent roughly $20,000 on his campaign since it officially began last September.
“We’ve been out every night this week just trying to keep the people interested and let them know there is still another runoff coming, trying to keep my face and name out there,” he said. “As far as my campaign, I still want the constable’s office to be very involved in the community. They just don’t need to be an office that serves paper 24/7, they need to be involved in other ways.”
Chegwidden said he has spent roughly $10,000 on his campaign through cash donations and donations in kind.
As for his campaign, from the start, it’s been to get door-to-door to meet the voters, he said.
Chegwidden said Texas’ primary election delay actually gave him more time to do that.
“The weather is another thing entirely. It’s awful hot out there. But that’s the main thing — getting out door-to-door to talk to people,” he said.
No Democrat filed to run for the office, so the winner of the Republican primary will take office in January.
BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
EARLY VOTING FOR PRIMARY RUNOFF
During early voting for the July 31 primary runoff, voters registered in Denton County may vote at any of the following locations. Early voting will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday:
Early voting polling locations:
* Argyle Town Hall, 308 Denton St.
* Carrollton Public Library, 4220 N. Josey Lane
* Copeland Government Center, 1400 FM424, Cross Roads
* Flower Mound Police and Municipal Court Building, 4150 Kirkpatrick Lane
* Frisco Lakes Village Center, 7277 Frisco Lakes Drive
* Highland Village Municipal Complex, 1000 Highland Village Road
* Carroll Administration Building, 401 W. Hickory St.
* Justin Municipal Building, 415 N. College St.
* Lake Dallas City Hall, 212 Main St.
* Lewisville Municipal Annex, 1197 W. Main St.
These two locations will be open only on the dates and times listed:
* Sanger First Baptist Church, 708 S. Fifth St., 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday
* Svore Municipal Building, 100 Municipal Drive in Trophy Club, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday