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Privette announces bid for reelection to 37th Circuit bench


Presiding Judge Steven Privette of the 37th Circuit Court has announced he is running for reelection and has filed to be placed on the ballot for the Aug. 6 primary election.

The 37th Judicial Circuit includes Howell, Oregon and Shannon counties. As of Tuesday, Privette, a resident of Willow Springs, is the only candidate for the seat, according to the unofficial list of candidates posted on the Missouri Secretary of State website.

Privette was first elected in 2018 for a six-year term after being appointed by Gov. Mike Parson to finish the unexpired term of his predecessor, David Evans, who resigned in April of that year and successfully ran for office as representative of the 154th Missouri House District.

“I have the utmost respect for our Constitution, our justice system and all that it stands for and I am humbled and grateful to the voters who have given me the opportunity to serve,” said Privette, a Republican.

Privette graduated in 1980 from the University of Missouri in Columbia with a degree in business, then worked a year as a deckhand on the inland waterways to save money to pay for law school. He graduated from the MU School of Law in 1984 and returned home to Howell County to practice law after passing the bar exam.

Prior to being elected judge, he served as Howell County Prosecuting Attorney from 1987 to 1994, Oregon County Prosecutor from 1987 to 1990, as a reserve deputy sheriff on the Howell County S.W.A.T. Team, and practiced law for over 34 years in Howell County.

He also coached youth soccer and baseball and served on numerous community public service boards, including serving over 10 years on the Howell County Sheltered Workshop Board of Directors.

He has eliminated a backlog of cases that existed when he took office, he said, adding, “The most important thing we judges can do is to fairly apply the law and promptly move our cases, making sure everyone gets a full and fair opportunity to be heard by the court.”

Privette filed in Jefferson City as required for circuit court judge candidates; candidates for other offices may file at the local county clerk’s office. Filing for state elections to be held in August began on Feb. 27 and will run through March 26.

Candidates signing up at the Howell County Clerk's Office will need to leave the filing fee made out to their affiliated party, since there is no permanent headquarters for either the Republican or Democrat party in Howell County. A receipt is issued by the clerk's office to the candidate. After the close of filing, the fee is forwarded to the candidate's party.