Bacarisse, who has served as district clerk since 1994, effectively resigned his position to run.
By state law, county officials are required to resign to run for another office. A notice of vacancy and request for applications was sent out via e-mail shortly after Bacarisse made his announement.
The duties of district clerk are largely ministerial, including summoning prospective jurors for state and county courts, maintaining certain court files and collecting child support payments.
In contrast, the county judge is the titular head of county government and its ceremonial face. The office, however, carries little real executive authority except as head of emergency management.
If elected, Bacarisse said he would address the costs associated with illegal immigration, which are "stretching taxpayers and county resources to the breaking point."
He also said he would ask Commissioners Court to adopt a taxpayer bill of rights to cap the county's annual budget at level equal to the growth of population, plus the rate of inflation. And he promised to forge a "public-private-faith partnership" to reach out to troubled juveniles.
Bacarisse has waited in the wings more than 10 years for the county judge position to open. But he was passed over by Commissioners Court earlier this year. It appointed Ed Emmett when Robert Eckels resigned.