Presidio County’s candidate filing period: Open positions and how to run for local office

PRESIDIO COUNTY — For those wishing to occupy public office, it’s time to apply to appear on the local ballot for the primary elections on March 1, 2022. 

Positions up for election in Presidio County include County Judge, District/County Clerk, County Treasurer, County Commissioner Precinct 2, County Commissioner Precinct 4, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 and Justice of the Peace Precinct 2. The open filing period lasts from November 13 to December 13, 2021. 

To apply, candidates must go through Republican County Chair Dan Dunlap or Democratic County Chair Clark Childers. Candidates can either pay for entry on the ballot — fees range depending on the position from $375 to $1,250 — or receive a certain number of signatures. Signatures needed are 2% of people that voted in the 2018 general election, or around 34 signatures. County Clerk Florcita Zubia, who took office this past June after Virginia Pallarez retired, is up for election. She said she plans to get around 50 to 60 signatures in the event not all who signed are qualified as registered voters in the county. 

Dina Jo Losoya-Marquez, who was recently appointed to serve as Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 after Judge David Beebe resigned, will also be on the ballot in the upcoming election this spring. 

Candidates who succeed in the spring primary election will go on to the general election in November 2022 and will ultimately take office in January 2023 if elected. All open positions are four-year terms. Early voting will take place from February 14 to February 25, 2022, before Election Day on March 1. Helpful information on qualifications and how to apply can be found on the secretary of state’s website: 

Dan Dunlap, Republican county chair for Presidio County, said he has had three precinct chairs apply so far and plans to run again for Republican county chair. While his position will be up for public vote on the ballot, precinct chairs are voted on or appointed within the party. He says he has been in conversation with several members of his party interested in running for the open county positions, but no one had filed formally as of press time. Dunlap says in his experience candidates often wait to see who else is running, filing closer to the deadline.

Historically, local public office has been almost exclusively held by Democrats. According to Dunlap, the Republican Party is making strides toward giving Presidio County a two-party system by actively recruiting candidates.

“We’re trying to make this a two county party and give people a choice,” says Dunlap. 

Dunlap has information packets and forms needed for filing for the Republican Party in the primary. He can be reached here: PO Box R, Marfa, Texas, 432-295-1668, [email protected]

Democratic Chair Clark Childers announced recently he will be stepping down after three years in the role. He said he hopes to find someone equally as passionate to take up his responsibilities and plans to train his replacement. Reflecting on his time, he stressed the importance of local citizens in making elections happen. Like Dunlap, Childers has been in contact with people interested in running for public office but no one has filed as of this time. For more information on how to get on the ballot for the Democratic Party, contact [email protected].