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Up for grabs in 2012

Presidential race not only one getting attention for next year

While some are mulling the possibility of running for municipal races this fall, some countywide officeholders are thinking ahead — months ahead — to next year.

The deadline is Dec. 7 to file necessary paperwork to run for two county commission seats, clerk of courts, sheriff, coroner and county engineer. But already the people holding those offices have picked up petitions to run for re-election: Coroner Kurt Hofmann, Clerk of Courts Mike Patterson, Engineer Doug Cade, Sheriff Jeff Lawless, and County Commissioners Les Boggs and Bill Pratt.

Patterson, a Democrat, is seeking his second term as clerk of courts. Why?

“Two things: I love this job, I absolutely love what I’m doing and this let’s everyone know I’m interested,” Patterson said. He is also following the advice given to him by his late father, Commissioner George Patterson, who told him when he ran the first time for clerk of courts to get his signatures early and not wait until the last minute.

Boggs, a Republican, is seeking his second term on the three-seat commission board.

“You always want to have your petition (picked up) prior to the fair,” Boggs said. He said he is proud of his accomplishments during his first term and he hopes voters will give him another four years.

“I feel we have been very frugal with tax dollars,” Boggs said. He pointed out that when he came in office, the county was facing more than $300,000 in unpaid bills, but ended 2010 with a nearly $1 million carryover.

Lawless, a Republican, is seeking his second term as well. He picked up his petition June 2.

“I wanted to wait until after Memorial Day but be prepared to use the summer months to collect my signatures,” he said. “I hope to continue to provide good service to Lawrence County.”

Hofmann is seeking his second term as well. He was not immediately available for comment.

Pratt is seeking his first full term on the board. He was appointed in April to fill the unexpired term of Jason Stephens, who ran successfully for county auditor.

Cade is seeking his first full term. He was appointed this spring to fill the unexpired term of the retiring long-serving David Lynd. Neither Cade nor Pratt were immediately available for comment.

To have a successful petition, a candidate for countywide office must have no fewer than 50 but no more than 150 valid signatures of registered Lawrence County voters.