Editor's note: This article has been updated throughout.
Record setting nominations for the Best of Texoma 2019, helped fuel the need — for the first time ever — for runoffs for the top three spots in a number of competitive categories. Thirty-six of the 177 categories in this year's contest had results from the first round of nominations that proved too close to clearly determine the three top spots, or saw the top five nominees separated by only a few votes. So the runoff will allow voters to make clear their choices for the top three winners.
Voting in these 36 competitive categories, for which voting will be online only at www.BestofTexoma.com, opened at 11:59 p.m. Friday night and will continue until 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20. At the close of the runoff balloting, the top three winners in each of the contested categories will be announced in the Herald Democrat.
A list of the declared top three winners for which no runoff was required will be published in this Sunday's edition of the paper and voting for all the top three winners in all categories will begin on March 14 and run through March 29. That final round of voting will also be online only through www.BestofTexoma.com.
All the Best of Texoma winners, including those that receive First Place votes, will be announced at this year's Best of Texoma Gala on April 27 and then featured in the annual 2019 Best of Texoma Magazine.
Here is a rundown of the Best of Texoma 2019 runoff categories:
Eat & Drink
Best Bakery, Best Comfort Food, Best Restaurant in Pottsboro, Best Restaurant in Sherman
Best Hotel, Best Local Festival
Financial & Real Estate
Best Insurance Agency, Best Insurance Agent, Best Real Estate Agent, Best Real Estate Company, Best Real Estate Company (Lake Texoma)
Best Dental Services, Best ENT (Ear, Nose, & Throat), Best Home Health, Best Orthodontist, Best Orthopedic Surgeon, Best Nurse
Best Criminal Defense Attorney, Best Foundation Repair, Best Hair Salon, Best Heat and Air Services, Best Plumbing Services, Best Remodeling Services, Best Security Company, Best Veterinarian, Best Home Painting Service
Shopping and Commerce
Best Liquor Store, Best Sewing/Quilting Shop
Work and Lifestyle
Best Apartment Complex, Best Elementary Teacher, Best Firefighter/EMT, Best Health Club/Gym, Best Independent Senior Living, Best Local Artist, Best Non-profit Organization, Best Wedding/Event Venue
Your favorites still need your support, so log in, vote and join your neighbors in selecting those that truly represent the Best of Texoma 2019.
Online voters may submit one ballot per IP or email address per day. If votes cast do not follow guidelines, they will be deemed invalid and will result in all votes by that IP or email address being disqualified for the duration of the 2019 cycle. Online ballots for the runoff categories must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 20, to be considered. Advertising with Texoma Marketing and Media Group does not impact the results of the Best of Texoma honors.