There are more than 50 candidates in 21 races on the ballot in local races for the approaching Republican and Democratic Party primaries. The majority of those — 14 — are contested races in at least one of the primaries.

As is common during election season, The Daily News will publish a series of questionnaires in the contested 2014 elections. Reader-submitted questions and The Daily News staff members make up the questions asked of the candidates.

The questionnaires will be published in the newspaper as well as a special election publication of The Daily News before the start of early voting for the primaries. The questionnaires also will be posted online for voters to review.

Those questionnaires online will be available for subscribers as well as nonsubscribers without charge as a public service of The Daily News.

The Daily News also will host four candidates’ forums starting in February that will feature most of the contested races.

The newspaper made a few adjustments to the questionnaire process this year.

Usually only those candidates in contested primary races would receive the questionnaires.

At the request of readers, The Daily News will send questionnaires to candidates in those races that either during the primaries or November elections will be in contested races.

The questionnaires were sent to candidates today. They will have until Jan. 27 to fill out the questionnaires.

In addition to the general questions that ask candidates about their experience, why they are running and if they owe back taxes, the questionnaires feature race-specific questions.

County judicial candidates, for example, are asked what type of legal experience they have and if they have ever had their stance on alternative sentencing.

Justices of the peace candidates are asked how they will provide access to the court in the newly configured precinct lines.

County Judge candidates are asked about outsourcing of the county’s social services and how they would improve the county’s infrastructure.

Those running for state representative are asked about public school finance issues and about the state’s roll in building or funding a storm suppression system.

Congressional candidates are asked what they will do about flood insurance policies and the Texas Open Beaches Act.

Excerpts of the questionnaires will be published in the daily editions of The Daily News, while longer versions will be published in a special section scheduled to be published in advance of early voting.

Full versions of the questionnaires will be posted online.

To augment the questionnaires, The Daily News will host the political forums. Those will be held Feb. 6 in League City, Feb. 10 in Texas City, Feb. 13 in Santa Fe and Feb. 17 in Galveston.

Attention candidates

Sometime today, you will receive an email from The Daily News with instructions how to participate in The Daily News questionnaires. If you do not receive an email from The Daily News by noon, contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds by email at

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or

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