By Joe Southern
The first sign that the 2018 election could be a busy one began last March when Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls announced he was forming an exploratory committee to consider a run at the District 22 Congressional seat held by Republican Pete Olson.
Although a formal announcement has not been made by Nehls, many other candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for various state and local races.
The Primary Election is slated for March 6.
Below is a look at the candidates who have formally announced:
State Senate District 17
Kristin Tassin announced she is running for the Republican nomination for State Senate District 17, which covers portions of Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Harris counties. Republican Joan Huffman currently holds the seat. Now in her second term, Tassin serves as president of the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees.
State House District 85
State Rep. Phil Stephenson announced he is seeking re-election to House District 85. He first won election to the seat in 2012. District 85 includes all of Jackson and Wharton counties and south Fort Bend County.
Fort Bend County District Attorney
With longtime district attorney John Healy announcing he will not run, two early contenders have surfaced for the post.
Former Fort Bend County prosecutor Shawn M. McDonald announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for District Attorney. In 2006, McDonald started his own law firm and has continued to practice and try criminal juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony cases.
Republican Cliff Vacek, retired judge of the 400th District Court, has announced his candidacy for the office. Vacek previously served over 10 years as District Judge before retiring in 2014.
Fort Bend County Treasurer
Robert Serrett of the Katy area has announced his intent to run in the Republican Primary for Fort Bend County Treasurer.
Bill Rickert announced he is running for the Republican nomination for Fort Bend County Treasurer.
Fort Bend County Clerk
County Clerk Laura Richard has announced that she will seek her second term as Fort Bend County Clerk. She was first elected County Clerk in 2014 after serving as Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4.
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8, Judge
District Judge Dibrell “Dib” Waldrip will seek the Republican nomination for Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8 in the Republican Primary. Waldrip has presided over the 433rd Judicial District Court since his appointment by Gov. Rick Perry in 2007. Waldrip was re-elected in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Fort Bend County Court at Law No. 3 Judge
Democrat Juli Mathew has announced her candidacy for Fort Bend County Court at Law No. 3 judgeship. Throughout her 13 years of practice, she has gained experience in a wide variety of legal fields including creditor rights, post judgment recovery, the gasoline industry, anti-trust issues, mass tort, family law, landlord tenant rights, and criminal law.
Fort Bend County Court at Law No. 6 Judge
Attorney Dean Hrbacek announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Fort Bend County Court at Law No. 6. He is a former mayor of Sugar Land.
Sugar Land Mayor
Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman announced his bid for re-election. Zimmerman was elected the 10th Mayor of Sugar Land in 2016. He is a former member of the City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission.