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Two running for Associate Circuit Judge, Division 4

There are two candidates for the office of Associate Circuit Judge, Division 4: Incumbent Judge Shawn McCarver and current St. Francois County First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Patrick King.

Shawn McCarver (D)

McCarver, 58, graduated as a member of the National Honor Society from Central High School in 1978. Following high school, McCarver graduated from Central Missouri State University Summa Cum Laude with a major in Criminal Justice Administration and a minor in Finance in 1981.

Going on to receive his Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1984, he was licensed to practice law in the State of Missouri the same year. McCarver is also licensed to practice in federal court, eastern district of Missouri. He additionally holds a professional license as a nursing home administrator.

From 1984 to 2010 McCarver operated a private law practice and was municipal judge for the cities of Flat River/Park Hills, Desloge, Bonne Terre, Bismarck and Leadwood between 1985 and 2010. He served as juvenile court prosecutor from 1985 to 2002, public defender from 1986 to 1987, and has held his current office of Associate Circuit/Probate Judge since January of 2011, being elected twice.

McCarver is married to Julie McCarver and has a daughter, Dagny, age 10.

“I am running for reelection because I want to continue to honorably serve the citizens of St. Francois County, something I have done since opening my private practice in 1984,” McCarver said. “I am fully qualified for the position because I have actually had extensive practice experience in all of the areas of law heard in the probate court and because I now have almost 33 years’ experience as a judge.

“I am the only candidate for this position with the breadth of experience and the long track record of serving honorably as a judge.”

Citing his experience as a judge in St. Francois County, McCarver said that as a municipal judge he presided over approximately 7,500 cases per year. In his current role as probate judge, McCarver said he hears cases involving wills, trusts, estates, guardianships, conservatorships, mental health commitments, one-half of all family law cases including divorces, custody and support, plus adoptions and other civil matters.

“I have put my experience to use for the citizens I serve, and I have capably and competently performed the duties of my office honestly, fairly and impartially,” McCarver said. “I treat those who appear in front of me courteously, and I strive to be the kind of judge that I would have wanted to practice in front of or appear before.

“I have never had a scandal in my office, and in the 33 years I have served as a judge I have never had a judicial decision overturned by a higher court. In addition, I am the only candidate with actual experience as a judge and vast experience in the types of legal cases heard in this court.”

Patrick King (R)

Patrick King, 58, earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri in 1982 before earning his law degree from the same school in 1986.

King has been married to Michelle King for 31 years and has two adult children, Andrew and Melanie.

In his legal career, King has served as a hearing officer for the State Tax Commission and as an assistant attorney general for the State of Missouri. After spending several years in private practice handling a variety of cases, King was elected Rolla City Attorney and held that position for eight years.

King was next an assistant prosecuting attorney for Phelps County and eventually was Prosecuting Attorney for Phelps County. For the last 20 years, King has served as the First Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for St. Francois County.

“I have practiced law for more than 30 years,” King said. “I have spent nearly all my adult life in public service. My experience has taught me what voters should expect from the people they elect. My life and career have reflected values of honesty, integrity, hard work and common sense.

“These are the values I will carry with me into the office of judge. I know what this position requires. In my career I have tried many court and jury trials and I have handled the kinds of cases this judge must decide: criminal cases, juvenile cases, mental health matters, family law and probate courses.”

Pointing to his years of public service, largely in St. Francois County, King said that he has consistently proven to the community what kind of person he is.

“I seek this office because I believe this judge must be a true public servant,” he said. “This office belongs to no one person; it belongs to the people of this county. The people need and deserve a judge who demonstrates the qualities that have carried me through my decades of public service.

“My life, including my nearly 20 years working for you in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office, proves I have those qualities that folks have told me again and again are most important. I have earned the trust of the people of this county.”

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at

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