Boonville resident Paula Sims, who has a wide-ranging background in public service, recently announced her candidacy for Cooper County Public Administrator. She is running as a Republican.

The public administrator oversees and settles real estate issues for those without a trustee.

Sims is a support coordinator for the Cooper County Board of Sheltered Services. She assists more than 35 people who have a developmental disability diagnosis or with other diagnoses or mental health issues. Her clients are 3 to 60 years old or more and she has served in this position for the past four years. She also serves on the Sheltered Services board, is a member of the Cooper County University of Missouri Extension Council and is lead co-chair for the patient and family advisory council at Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Sims has worked along individuals and their families who have become a guardian or conservator of their family member’s estate in her position with Sheltered Services, according to a news release. Because of this, she has worked directly with public administrators from Cooper, Howard, Boone and Pettis counties, among others and some which are out of state.

Sims became the conservator and co-guardian of her son, Christian, when he turned 18 due to his mental and physical impairments, the release noted. Sims along with her partner, Arnie Santos, have to make major life decisions for Christian, who will turn 21 in April.

"I guarantee that I will work just as hard for your family or loved ones as I do for my son and the individuals I serve," Sims stated in the release.

Sims previously was a dental assistant for 30 years, working at the practices of Harold Hombs, Ricky Powell, Charles Hatley and Virginia Dooley. She worked chairside, hygiene, insurance and billing, as a receptionist and did lab work, according to the release.

After retiring from dentistry, Sims worked in various positions at the Cooper County Courthouse. She served as the deputy Cooper County collector for two years and before serving as the registration clerk with the Cooper County clerk’s office.

Sims is the daughter of William "Bill" and Glenda Richey. She has an older brother, Bill, who is an optometrist and lives in Cypress, Texas.