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Upshur commissioner considers running for county judge

By Christina Lane
Oct. 3, 2017 at 12:25 a.m.
Updated Oct. 3, 2017 at 11:08 a.m.

Upshur County Pct. 4 Commissioner Mike Spencer

An Upshur County commissioner said Monday he is not seeking re-election to his current position as he considers running for the office of county judge.

Also Monday, District Attorney Billy Byrd and county Treasurer Brandy Vick announced re-election campaigns.

Pct. 4 Commissioner Mike Spencer, who took office in 2011 after being elected in 2010, said Monday he is considering running to follow Dean Fowler as county judge. Fowler announced last week that he is not seeking re-election as county judge. However, he is considering running for the bench longtime District Judge Lauren Parish intends to vacate at the end of 2018.

In a statement, Spencer said: "I would like to see the discipline of the court continue with its progress and continue serving this county in some capacity and am seriously considering running for Upshur County judge."

The Texas Resign to Run Law prevents elected officials from officially announcing candidacy to a different elected office with more than one year and 30 days left in the term of their current office.

Should officials announce a campaign to a different office more than one year and 30 days from the end of their term, they automatically resign from their current office, according to the law. After that time, candidates can announce and campaign for a different office while maintaining their current one.

Elected officials can announce re-election campaigns to their current offices with no penalty.

Byrd and Vick each announced their respective re-election plans Monday. They join District Clerk Karen Bunn, who previously said she intends to seek re-election.

Byrd, who first took office in 2007, will be seeking his fourth term as district attorney, prosecuting criminal court cases for the county.

"After much thought and after being approached about seeking other offices, I believe my service to our citizens is best served representing the state of Texas as the criminal district attorney of Upshur County," Byrd said.

Byrd said he intends to continue to "seek justice in every situation presented."

Vick first took office in 2015 after being elected in 2014. She started working in the office in 2004 learning under longtime county Treasurer Myra Harris. The treasurer's office handles payroll for the county's 200 employees, accounts, human resources, health insurance, retirement, county revenue funds and grants, unemployment and other duties.

"I am experienced in all of the duties and daily functions of the treasurer's office with working knowledge," Vick said. "I have an amazing staff. They are dedicated to their work. They are also efficient, loyal and hardworking. My staff and I are readily available to assist the citizens of Upshur County."

Byrd, Bunn, Fowler, Spencer and Vick each will run in the March Republican primary. No Democrats or Libertarians have announced candidacy bids.

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