Although Election Day is nearly a year away, local officials will begin signing the dotted line as soon as Thursday to seek re-election next November.

Filing opens for incumbents and challengers at 8 a.m. Thursday and will stay open until Jan. 4 at 5 p.m. Interested individuals can file with affiliated party chairs Deedee Jones (Republican) or Paul Harper (Democrat). Independent parties should file with the county judge.

The offices up for election for the 2010 political races include County Judge Walter Maynard (Democrat), County and District Clerk Candace Garrett (Democrat), County Treasurer Barbara Hudson (Democrat), County Commissioner Precinct 2 Mike Ford (Republican), County Commissioner Precinct 4 James Barnard (Republican), Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Ronnie Webb (Democrat) and Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Dwayne Griffin (Democrat).

While several incumbents have made their decision to return to the ballot box, including Maynard and Barnard, others have not yet spoken.

Hudson has not made an official announcement of her intent and Fordís intentions are also unknown at this time.

Webb, Griffin and Garrett were not available for comment at press time.