The Texas primary election is just around the corner and Tuesday is the first day of early voting. 

Rice University's Bob Stein says local Republicans will be keeping a close eye on the race for Lt. Governor.

"If you're in Harris County, Dan Patrick our state senator is thought to be a leading candidate, but everyone believes there will be a runoff," Stein tells KTRH News.

Leadership within the Harris County GOP also is up for grabs.

"President Obama won this county twice now and Democrats are taking some countywide seats, but some of it may be over ideology of how current party chairman Jared Woodfill is handling things," Stein says.

Other GOP contests to watch include the race for U.S. Senator John Cornyn’s seat, Texas Comptroller, Agriculture and Railroad Commissioner.  Then there's George P. Bush in the race for Land Commissioner.

"I would think he would easily win the nomination, but more importantly he may run up some votes in Democratic boxes that haven't seen a Republican do well, in particular in the valley," he says.

Democrats have five candidates running for U.S. Senator, three including “Kinky” Friedman in the Ag Commissioner race.  Wendy Davis also is being challenged in the race for Texas Governor.

Stein says the biggest question is how many Texans will actually vote?

"My guess is that the turnout might be over 12 to 15 percent, which would be high, almost double what it has been in the past, and that might bring out some more moderate and centrist Republicans," he says.

Harris County has 39 early voting centers open through the end of February.  Voters are reminded to bring photo identification.

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