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Incumbent County Judge M.C. “Chuck” Superville filed for re-election Monday afternoon and did so as a Democrat, ending speculation about whether he might join other Democratic incumbents in a move to the GOP in next year’s March 4 primary.
“He filed with me just minutes ago,” County Democratic Chairman Brady Fisher said at 3:30 p.m.
Earlier Monday, former Paris City Manager Mike Malone formally filed a place on the Republican Primary for county judge, setting the stage for a Superville-Malone encounter in the General Election next November.
“I just filed my application with the county Republican chairman (John Kruntorad),” Malone told eParisExtra about 11 a.m.
The filing deadline was 6 p.m. Monday.
Superville, 56, has been county judge since December 1995, when he was appointed to replace Deane Loughmiller, who moved up to the judgeship of the Lamar County Court at Law.
Before that, Superville was a prosecutor with the county attorney’s office for six years. He is both a licensed attorney and a certified public accountant.
Superville designated former State Rep. Mark Homer, D-Lamar, as his campaign treasurer.
“Mark Homer graciously volunteered to help me get the word out,” Superville said.
Malone, 62, who was Paris’ city manager from 1987 to 2004, named former Paris Police Chief Karl Louis as his campaign treasurer.
A longtime Democrat, Superville said he was urged by many supporters to stay in the Democratic Party, but others told him his only chance for re-election was as on the GOP ticket because most Lamar County residents now vote Republican.
“The argument everyone’s making right now. they’re saying, everyone’s just going in there and they’re not going down the ballot, they’re just filling in the R and going home. That’s happening at the rate of about 3 to 1,” Superville said in a recent interview with eParisExtra.
“I thought about all my different options, and running as a Democrat just felt like the right thing for me to do. I think people would feel if I changed parties just to get elected, people would think that was disingenuous,” Superville said Monday afternoon.
“My last two opponents I had were Republicans, and I did OK. I went in as a Democrat, and if I have to I’ll go out as one. It’s that old deal, you dance with the one that brung you. I feel pretty good about it. I’m going to run a hard race, shake a lot of hands, and see how it goes.”
Under Texas law, three things are required to file for a county elective position. The candidate must:
Fisher argued that Superville has been the strongest draw on the Democratic ballot in Lamar County for a number of years, attracting more votes than Homer even.
“Any Republican who doesn’t vote a straight party vote, Chuck is going to get that vote,” Fisher said.
Both Fisher and Kruntorad had indicated they wanted someone else to step forward to handle the duties of county Democratic and Republican chairman, respectively.
Gary O’Connor Powderly filed for county Democratic chairman, but Kruntorad — after waiting in vain until late in the day Monday for one of his precinct chairman to volunteer — filed for re-election.
“I think they’re saying they’re happy with the way things are going,” Kruntorad said late Monday.
Here is a list of those who filed to run in the March 4 primary for Lamar County elective positions:
COUNTY JUDGE: Incumbent, M.C. “Chuck” Superville.
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 2: Incumbent, Lonnie Layton.
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, PRECINCT 4: Incumbent, Keith Mitchell.
COUNTY COURT AT LAW:
CONSTABLE, PRECINCT 5:
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 1:
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 2:
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 3:
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 4:
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE, PRECINCT 5, PLACE 2:
DISTRICT CLERK: Incumbent, Marvin Ann Patterson.
DEMOCRATIC COUNTY CHAIRMAN: Incumbent Brady Fisher.
REPUBLICAN COUNTY CHAIRMAN: Incumbent John Kruntorad.
By Charles Richards, eParisExtra