With less than a month until the county’s political party chairs open the doors to candidates and political hopefuls for the March primary, one local official has announced he will seek another term.

Erath County Judge Tab Thompson (Republican) said Tuesday he will seek his fifth term at the helm of the county’s government - 2010 will mark his 16th year as county judge.

When he first took office in 1994, Thompson said he became the first county-wide elected Republican.  

Thompson was born and raised in Erath County and his roots run deep. He said it is those family ties that brought he and his wife Debbie back to the county years ago, and have kept him in local government.

“Growing up, I was always interested in running for office,” Thompson said. “My father Brad was always politically active. I was raised in a home where we talked politics all the time. My parents served the community in various ways and I saw that as an example and developed the same desire to give back to the community.”

And with that drive, Thomspon has continued to give back. He admits his political career has been long-lived in comparison to most county judges, but said it is only in the last four or more years that it has truly taken flight.

His children - quadruplets Reagan, Kayla, Daniel and Patrick - were only six years old when Thompson first took office and a large focus of his daily life in the first several years was managing the brood alongside Debbie. As the children embarked on their own journeys and entered Texas A&M University, where they are now seniors, Thompson was able to take his service beyond the county line.

In addition to his numerous local, county-wide accomplishments and services that continue today, Thompson became chairman of the Risk Management Pool of the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) in June. His statewide leadership grew as he became a member of the TAC Service Corporation board of directors. He also represents the Risk Management Pool on the Service Corporation Board, which serves as TAC’s budget committee. And he was recently recognized for his service as a founding board member of the pool, which represents more than 200 counties and other local governmental entities.  

When asked why he is seeking another term, Thompson said the motivation is simple. For a man who has spent well over a decade at the courthouse, there are still several projects he would like to see come to fruition, including the long-awaited expansion of the Erath County Jail.

More importantly, Thompson said it is really about his dedication to the county and the citizens who elected him.

“I am confident that I still have something to offer and contribute to Erath County,” Thompson said. “If not, I would not seek re-election.”

The Primary Election will be held March 2 with run offs on April 13. The General Election will be held Nov. 2.