AUSTIN, Texas – Five days of early voting for several primary runoff elections kicks off on Monday in Texas.
Runoffs happen if no candidate in a primary receives at least 50 percent of the votes. The top two candidates will then face off.
Democrats will get the chance to vote for their gubernatorial candidate, either Lupe Valdez or Andrew White. The candidates clashed at a debate on May 11 discussing topics from abortion to gun rights and immigration. Valdez and White are both vying for their party’s nomination to face off against Republican Governor Greg Abbott.
District 46 will vote on its House candidate Democrats Sheryl Cole and Jose "Chito" Vela. Vela, an immigration attorney and former Austin Planning Commission member is up against former Austin City Council member and mayor pro tem, Sheryl Cole.
For U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith's 21st Congressional District seat— Republicans will vote for either Chip Roy or Matt McCall. Democrats will choose from Mary Street Wilson and Joseph Kopser.
In House District 8, Republicans will choose from Thomas McNutt and Cody Harris.
Some voting experts say they won’t be surprised if relatively few voters participate in this election.
"In the end, these are really, extremely low-turnout affairs, and what is going to drive one race or another is most likely going to be a locally-determined factor," said Joshua Blank, Manager of Polling and Research at the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin.
But Blank does notice some statewide trends. For Republicans in a state where the president is popular, many candidates are cozying up to Trump.
"Most of the candidates are sort of trying to jump over each other to align themselves with Trump," Blank said.
And for Democrats, an ongoing debate over a winning strategy in Texas.
"Do we see more moderate middle of the road candidates emerge, or do we see more of the activist candidate?"
Blank says that's a battle playing out in the Democratic showdown for governor. White is appealing to the middle, where Valdez is trying to turnout the progressive base.
Though Blank says the biggest challenge for Valdez, White, and all the other runoff candidates might still just be getting voters to know who they are.
Voters have until May 18 to vote early. Runoff election day is May 22.