By Michelle Guffey

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON Shelley Coston announced her candidacy Wednesday for the March 2006 election for Bell County clerk.

I would like to guide the county to a new era, she said.

With 15 years experience as a legal assistant and paralegal in both the private and public sector, Coston told the room full of family, friends and county employees that she would like to be their next county clerk.

A Republican since she was old enough to vote, Coston received an associates degree in business administration from Temple Junior College. Last year she earned a paralegal certificate there as well.

From 1992 to 1999, Coston worked as a legal assistant in the Bell County District Attorneys office where she worked for district attorney Arthur Eads. During that time period, she was legal assistant to Henry Garza, the current district attorney.

Since 1999, she has worked as a paralegal for Belton attorney Jim Hewitt.

I dont consider myself a politician, she told the crowd. I consider myself a clerk.

Coston helped organize the Bell County Bar Associations Legal Assistants Division and served two terms as president of the organization. She is currently administrative director of the local bar association.

Hewitt told the crowd that he has made two good decisions in his life and one of those was to hire Coston.

Coston acknowledged that she has much to learn but that she hopes to introduce a new beginning to the Bell County clerks office.

The 39-year-old Little River resident hopes to succeed recently retired Vada Sutton, who was county clerk for 18 years.

Her dedication to Bell County was paramount, Coston said.

Contact Michelle Guffey at

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