Beginning today, Texans can exercise their vote in the Republican and Democratic primaries — voting early in person in advance of the March 2 election. While the headlines have been consumed by the important gubernatorial election, let us not neglect the equally important races further down our ballots.

In a great many cases, these positions will actually be determined in the primary elections, meaning your voice and vote has an even greater weight.

Too few of us pay careful enough attention to positions such as “Justice of the Peace,” “Sheriff” and “County Commissioner,” and those seeking such offices. That’s disturbing, given just how much practical power these position hold over our daily lives.

Further up the ballot are judicial races, where men and women are asking for the authority to literally sit in judgment over us. And, of course, the legislative races — the state house and senate — which are most often our organization’s focus. From the Railroad Commission (which handles energy policy) to the State Board of Education, there many are positions of great trust and importance, affecting our neighbors, communities and state, on which we are asked to select the most qualified individual.

As Samuel Adams correctly noted more than 200 years ago:

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual — or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.”

This year’s election season is book-ended by two important dates in our state’s history. Yesterday was the 134th anniversary of the ratification of our state constitution by the people of Texas. While the Primary Day, March 2, marks 174 years since Texans declared independence from Mexico.

In the intervening years, and especially this last decade, Texas has glowed as the brightest of the several stars in the magnificent field of Old Glory’s blue. We certainly have challenges ahead, but if we vote with the principles of liberty for those who will practically govern with the courage of our time-tested convictions, I am convinced the Lone Star State’s brightest days are ahead of us.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”