Former Killeen and Temple City Manager David Blackburn is campaigning for judge in Bell County.

Blackburn announced Wednesday at Schoepf's Bar-B-Que in Belton that he is running for the open Bell County Judge’s seat. Blackburn, Temple's Economic Development Corporation's President said his nearly 30 years of local government service on both sides of Bell County makes him the most qualified candidate to take over the county’s top job.

After Judge Jon Burrows announced he would not seek reelection for a sixth term in the 2018 primary, Blackburn launched his campaign, according to a press release. Burrows held the seat for 20 years.

Blackburn said for his entire career, he has served the taxpayers in large communities as an appointed city official.

“I am proud to say I have never run for public office and do not plan to make a new career as a Politian,” Blackburn said. “I have but one goal: to serve the people of Bell County.”

He said he is excited by the campaign and getting a chance to speak with Bell County residents about issues they care about. An official launch date is set for later this month.

Blackburn received his law degree from St. Mary’s University in 2985 and went to serve as a city attorney in Plainview and Texarkana. In 1995, he came to Killeen to fill that same position. In the following 10 years, he took on roles as assistant and deputy city manager, before earning the city manager job. In 2005, he started working as Temple City Manager until he retired from city management.

The reason why Blackburn said he is running for Bell County is he wants Bell County to be the best-run county in the State of Texas.

“I think I can take Bell County to the next level of county management based on my experience in managing the two largest cities in Bell County,” he said. “I have the experience managing multi-million dollar budgets, multi-million dollar projects, and finding ways to save taxpayer dollars and how to make the most efficient use of those dollars.”

Blackburn believes in limited government, limited taxation, and unlimited economic opportunity for our citizens and business.

His campaign is receiving support and endorsement from one of two co-chairs, Drayton McLane Jr. He said he has known Blackburn for many years and his leadership in the two Bell County cities were outstanding.

“He has really made a big impact in the leadership of Temple Economic Development Corporation in bringing new businesses here and encouraging existing businesses to expand,” McLane said.

Lt. Gen Pete Taylor also offered his endorsement and services as a co-chair on the campaign committee.

"I cannot think of anyone who is better prepared for the job," Taylor said.