Christopher Maher, Jim Wells County Correspondent

On the first business day after Tax Assessor-Collector Lucila Reynolds announced she would not seek re-election, Alice Mayor Grace Saenz-Lopez announced she was a candidate for the position.

Saenz-Lopez submitted information to the Jim Wells County Clerk's office Monday morning naming herself as treasurer of her campaign, the first step necessary to begin campaigning.

"When Mrs. Reynolds decided not to run, I visited with my family, and I have all their support, so I went and filed," Saenz-Lopez said.

Saenz-Lopez said she has been interested in the office ever since she worked there, more than 30 years ago.

"I have always wanted to run for office and hold down a job as an elected official with the county," Saenz-Lopez said. "My experience and background are with the tax office and the automobile department, when (Cone) Lozano was there. I think that pretty much qualifies me."

Candidates will not be able to officially file to be on the ballot for the March 2008 primary until December.

If elected, Saenz-Lopez said she expects to be able to continue in her capacity as mayor of Alice.

Reynolds informed the Jim Wells County Commissioner's Court Friday she would not seek re-election to a fourth term in 2008, saying she thought it was time for someone else to run for the position.

Her term will expire Dec. 31, 2008.

Other candidates who have designated campaign treasurers with the county clerk's office include Enrique Saenz, who is running for Jim Wells County Sheriff; and J.C. Perez, who is running for Pct. 3 County Commissioner.