By CLINT FOSTER
The 2014 Republican primary election in March is just three months away and, this year, locals have a wealth of GOP candidates to choose from at the county level.
As part of a continuing series, the Index is previewing each of the three contested races in the upcoming Republican primary, breaking down the candidates and helping voters to be as informed as possible.
Having previewed races for County Judge and Democratic County Chair earlier this week, the next election up is the race for District Clerk, which features the incumbent Janie Glover against Mineral Wells Code Enforcement Secretary Stacie Frye.
Let’s meet the candidates for District Clerk:
Incumbent Janie Glover is running for her fourth consecutive term as Palo Pinto District Clerk, having been appointed to the position by the honorable Judge Jerry Ray in March of 2003. After 11 years in Palo Pinto, the primary strength of Glover’s campaign is her experience in the position.
She told the Index she hopes that this experience and her accomplishments in office register with local voters.
“I just feel like experience speaks,” she said. “I have a proven track record. I have done a lot to modernize (the office) and one of my goals is to maintain the integrity of the old records we have.”
In addition to her regular duties serving as support staff for the district judge and pulling all juries for county offices, Glover said she has had some of the court’s books refurbished that date back to as early as when Palo Pinto County Courthouse was first established in the 1857. She said she also maintains a good, working relationship with the Palo Pinto County Bar Association – a professional body of local lawyers.
Glover said she also maintains trust accounts to award monetary funds for minors and others who are injured or incapacitated. She said, on average, she manages about $300,000 out of this account “with honesty and integrity.”
As for the future, Glover said her office has plans to start e-filling soon – a system of submitting and storing important documents electronically. Glover said the state has a program to bring county offices online and she hopes to be e-filing within the first six month of next year, which is important because the Eastland County Court of Appeals has mandated, as of Jan. 1, that all appeals to their office be sent electronically. Glover has further ideas for this new filing system that would effect local citizens.
“We are going to look at a system where we can make documents available (to the public) online,” she said. “We’re trying to decide whether that will be paid or free. My preference is that they would be more private (and paid).
“At some point in time it will have to happen, but I’m just not an advocate of putting private material online. Things that happen in this office are usually very emotional and affect people a lot. It’s been a major happening in their life and some just want to move on.”
Glover said she felt like she was not only most qualified to continue in her position, but also that she wanted to run because it is something she considers very important and has enjoyed a great deal.
“I would just appreciate the consideration of all the voters in the county to allow me to continue to run the office with integrity,” she said. “I’ve enjoyed my tenure, so far, and i love being a servant to the people of Palo Pinto County.”
Stacie Frye will challenge Palo Pinto’s current District Clerk of over a decade with the hopes of bringing in a fresh, modern perspective to the office.
Although Frye is the Code Enforcement Secretary for the City of Mineral Wells, she is not as unexperienced in matters of the district court as she might seem. She told the Index she spent eight years working in the District Clerk’s office, seven of which she spent under Glover. She said serving as District Clerk is something she has always wanted to do in the future and thought 2014 was as good a time as any to start putting her name into the conversation.
“It’s just one of those things I decided I wanted to do because I wanted to show what I can do,” She said of running for District Clerk. “It’s something i enjoy doing. I learned a lot working in that office. I enjoyed working with local attorneys and the people. I’m a big people person.”
Frye said she developed her love for serving the public while spending years working with her mother in restaurant management as she grew up in Mineral Wells. Now, as an adult, Frye said she has a number of ideas to change the District Clerk’s office, using her youth as a strength to further modernize and improve the position to best serve the people of Palo Pinto County.
“There are some things that need to be different,” she said. “I want to make sure all of the technology in the office is brought up to current standards.
People do everything over the internet now. My biggest deal is to just generate more funds for the county and give the public more choices. I just think it’s time.” Among Frye’s plans, if elected District Clerk, would be to further update the system, provide passports at the courthouse and make sure the office allows more payment options – for example, credit cards. She said she also wants to maximize the efficiency of emails and faxing for the office.
She added she knows how the office works and that her fresh and youthful outlook could be just what it needs to perform at its best.
“I am a very hard-working person and very dedicated to what I put myself into,” she said. “You wouldn’t be wasting your time voting for me.”