Editor's Note: Judge Shawn McCarver has announced he will be seeking re-election as a Democratic candidate while Patrick King, chief assistant prosecutor with the St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, has also announced his intentions to file as a Republican for the judge position. Candidate filing begins Feb. 27 and runs through March 27.
Probate and Associate Circuit Judge Shawn McCarver is seeking re-election to his third term as the Probate and Associate Circuit Judge (Division 4) for St. Francois County. He is running as a Democratic candidate.
Prior to becoming the probate judge, he served as judge of the Municipal Courts of Park Hills, Desloge, Bonne Terre, Bismarck and Leadwood for a total of 26 years.
McCarver has been an attorney for 34 years. Prior to becoming the Probate and Associate Circuit Judge for St. Francois County, he had a private practice for 27 years, during which time he also served 26 years as a municipal judge, 18 years as the prosecutor for the juvenile court and a year as a public defender. His private practice consisted of probate, family, civil, criminal cases, social security, workers compensation and personal injury cases.
"The probate court hears probate, family, and civil cases — no criminal cases," McCarver said. "This is why, when I decided to ask the voters to trust me with a judgeship, I chose to run for probate judge. The probate court hears exactly the type of cases which I had done for 27 years in private practice.
"Probate, family, and civil are very specialized areas and they are difficult — having their own rules, laws, and statutes — that do not apply in any other types of cases. I would never ask the voters to trust me with a position as important as probate judge unless I had the experience actually doing the type of cases heard by the court."
McCarver waited to run for probate judge until his friend James "Jim" Kelly, his predecessor as probate judge, retired.
"I did not wake up one morning and decide to take away the job of a qualified judge," McCarver said, explaining that doing so would have been a disservice to the voters. "They deserve a fully qualified candidate on day one — not someone who is still learning the basics years later.
"The voters also deserve a candidate who will act in the best interest of the public rather than acting in the best interest of the judge. We have too much of that. A judge should be qualified, available and accessible. The judge must interpret the law, not make the law — making the law is the job of the legislature."
Noting his accessibility to the public, McCarver said, "My number is in the book, and I am always on call. I take weekend and night calls several times per week to consider emergency applications for mental health commitments, restraining orders, as well as search and arrest warrants. I return calls and answer letters.
"I took one vacation in six years, and although with my family, I was in constant communication with my office, signing court orders, and doing other work so that, upon my return, I was caught up. I love my job, and I am thankful every day for the trust the voters have shown in me. I repay that trust by working hard and staying up-to-date on the laws and case decisions of the higher courts that we judges have to follow."
McCarver has been appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to numerous committees, including the committee that completely revised the court rules in juvenile court. He has written manuals and books used by trial judges all over the state, as well as served on the teaching faculty of the judicial college since 1988, and the education committees for both municipal judges and trial judges.
"The education committees set the continuing education programs put on the judicial colleges each year," he said. "Every judge must attend in order to get training. This is my 30th year teaching at the college. It is humbling to be selected by the Supreme Court to train all of the state's judges."
McCarver graduated from Central R-3 in Park Hills; attended Mineral Area College and Central Missouri State University; and received his Juris Doctor (Doctor of Law) degree from the University of Missouri–Columbia.
He served Park Hills as a volunteer firefighter, and Elvins as a police officer. McCarver has served as an instructor for new highway patrol troopers at the Missouri Highway Patrol Academy in Jefferson City and was named Mineral Area Elks St. Francois County Citizen of the Year in 2009.
He is married to Julie McCarver, a Farmington attorney. They have a daughter, Dagny. He taught Sunday School for 26 years and he and his family are active members of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Farmington.
He can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shawnmccarverforjudge/
Patrick King has announced he will seek the office of Associate Circuit Judge, Division 4, for St. Francois County. He is running as a Republican candidate.
He is now the chief assistant prosecutor for St. Francois County, a post he has held for more than 19 years. King has practiced law for more than 30 years and has tried numerous court and jury trials.
"I have devoted my life to public service, and for the past many years to the service of the people of this county," King said. "I am glad so many folks have encouraged me to seek this office. I have built a record of honesty, integrity and hard work, and have demonstrated my respect and support for those who seek justice and those who work in the court system. The people of this county deserve and need a judge who will faithfully and impartially do the important work required. I know that I can do it, and I will."
King has been active in the community, serving as past president of Farmington Kiwanis Club and president of the Benevolence Board of the Farmington Ministerial Alliance. He has served on the Extended Character Committee for Farmington Middle School, as well as the board of The Baptist Home and the NESS Shelter Services Board.
King is past president of the local chapter of Mizzou Alumni Association, as well as a life member. He has served with the Farmington Band Boosters and is an active member and a deacon of Farmington First Baptist Church.
He is a past winner of the Daily Journal/Farmington Press "Citizen of the Year" award; the Missouri Baptist Convention's Christian Life Commission "Distinguished Service Award"; and the "I Stand Up for Kids" award from the Children's Advocacy Center of East Central Missouri. He has twice been named "Heartland Hero" by the Farmington R-7 School District.
King and his wife Michele live in Farmington, where she is chief operations officer and executive vice president at Ozarks Federal Savings and Loan. They have two adult children, Andrew and Melanie.
The candidate can be found on Facebook at "Pat King for Judge" and is on the web at www.electpatkingjudge.com.