Analysis: A surprise accountability test for local politicians

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State troopers stand guard at the state Capitol grounds to prevent protesters from entering during a demonstration against police violence. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

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In a normal year, local officials seeking reelection would have been on the ballot a month ago. Local elections were supposed to be held May 2 in Texas but were postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, just like the runoff elections that were originally to be held that month.

That delay could put some of the candidates on the spot, asking voters for support after property taxes are set and after budget votes that are sure to include big cuts and long discussions about spending in general and spending on law enforcement in particular — especially after the demonstrations that followed the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. The candidates will be campaigning after months of pandemic and economic turmoil, and with the overwhelming noise of the top-of-the-ballot race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

May elections, by comparison, seem so tranquil.

July 14 is the new date for the runoffs; early voting starts June 29. But the local elections were pushed to November.