A Houston Police Department sergeant filed Tuesday for Texas County sheriff.

Tim Ceplina of Houston declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination.

Ceplina, 43, is a 19-year veteran of the department. He was employed two years as a dispatcher, jailer-bailiff and reserve officer for the county sheriff’s department before joining HPD. He’s been a sergeant and supervisor with the department for about 11 years.

“I am excited,” said Ceplina. “Primarily the reason I’m running is to make the sheriff’s department the hub of law enforcement and the premier law enforcement agency in the county.”

Ceplina was a Marine, serving in Desert Storm and Desert Shield in the early 1990s. Already deployed, his unit was one of the first to enter Iraq.

A 1986 graduate of Houston High School, Ceplina has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice from Drury University. He is a criminal justice and psychology instructor at Drury’s campus at Cabool, where he has taught for about 8 ½ years.

Ceplina arrived in the county as a child after his family relocated from the St. Louis area in 1975.

Two other persons earlier filed on the GOP Ticket: James Sigman of Cabool and Wes Ellison of Willow Springs. Melissa Dunn of Houston filed last week on the Democratic Ticket. The incumbent, Carl Watson of Solo, does not plan to seek re-election to focus on his health.

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