Several Panola County residents have filed to run for county offices in the March 2020 primaries.
Panola County offices currently up for election are Tax Assessor/Collector, Sheriff, Constable for Precincts 1 and 4, Constable for Precincts 2 and 3, Commissioner for Precinct 1 and Commissioner for Precinct 3.
Those who have filed for election are currently unopposed. Holly Gibbs has filed for Tax Assessor/Collector, Kevin Lake has filled for Sheriff, Bryan Muff has filed for Constable Precinct 1 and 4, Charlie Blue has filed for Constable Precinct 1 and 3, and Billy Alexander has filed for Commissioner Precinct 1.
Additionally, Nicole Tarpley has filed to be the Republican Party Chair while John Foster has filed to be the Democrat Party Chair.
The filing period for the March primaries opened Nov. 9 and will close Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.
Those interested in filing to run for office before the Dec. 9 deadline need to start by making a visit to the voting registration office, Panola County Elections Administrator Cheyenne Lampley said. The office is located in Room 100 on the first floor of the Panola County courthouse, 110 S. Sycamore St. in Carthage.
At the office, they will need to file their appointment of campaign treasurer and then fill out an application for a place on the ballot, indicating whether they want to run as a Democrat or a Republican. They then pay their filing fee. For the tax collector, sheriff and commissioners, that fee is $750. For the constables, that fee is $375.
“It is very important that people understand you cannot go around saying ‘I am going to run for office’ if you have not filed your appointment of campaign treasurer,” Lampley said. “You can say ‘I’m thinking about it,’ but if you’re telling people that are you planning on running for office, you need to file that appointment of campaign treasurer with me.
“Now, say they do want to run for a certain position, and they come file that appointment but then it comes down to the end that they don’t want to pay the filing fee or they just decide their not getting enough support out in the county, it’s not a big deal, we can just take it right off.”