TEMPLE — Joanna Flores Staton decided to run for the open position of Bell County district clerk in the Republican Party’s March 14 primary.

Staton, who has served as the District court’s coordinator for the past 25 years, will make her announcement official Monday afternoon.

Her decision to delay her announcement until Monday means she is filing on the last day of the eligibility period and entering a crowded primary field.

When Staton makes her announcement at 3 p.m. in the Commissioners Courtroom in the Bell County Historic Courthouse, 101 E. Central Ave., in Belton, she will be joining local attorney Susan Parker and current chief deputy of the district clerk’s office, Jeannie Guthrie, in the race.

Parker and Guthrie, like the majority of Republican candidates, made their official announcements at a Nov. 12 filing event. The decision to file early gave them nearly a monthlong head start in fundraising and campaigning.

Staton said she put off her announcement until the last day because she wasn’t sure it was the right time.

“People talked to me and convinced me,” Staton said. “I realized that this is the perfect opportunity for me.”

When asked about her qualifications for the position of district clerk, Staton said that, as court coordinator, she has come to know the courthouse and the attorneys and that she “enjoys the work.”

Declining to give more details, Staton said she will elaborate more on her candidacy Monday.

Nancy Boston, Bell County Republican Party chairwoman, said Staton’s is the only outstanding announcement she is aware of, but she is accepting papers from interested candidates.

“The filing deadline is Monday at 6 p.m.,” Boston said. “I’ll be in the party headquarters in Belton from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday if anyone still wants to file.”

Bell County Democrats did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

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