Beginning in 2019 Franklin County will have a new county clerk for the first time in more than 20 years.
The vacancy left by retiring clerk Debbie Door will be filled by either Tim Baker, 48, Robertsville, or Kyle Dubbert, 44, Villa Ridge.
The pair are facing off in the Aug. 7 Republican primary race and since there is no Democratic candidate in November, the primary winner will win the seat.
The Missourian asked both candidates a few questions about the issues facing Franklin County and why they think they are the man to solve them moving forward. Visit emissourian.com for family, organizations and more information.
Why are you running for office?
Dubbert, a political newcomer, says his background of working in elections will be an asset to an office responsible for several each year.
“I care deeply about the integrity of our elections and I know my skillset and previous work experience will lend itself perfectly to performing all of the functions of county Clerk,” Dubbert said. “I love what I do for a living and want the chance to use my knowledge and experience for the benefit of my county.”
Baker, a lifelong county resident and past candidate for county commissioner, says he has a passion for this county like no other and only wants good government for its citizens.
“I believe local government works best when it answers to the people they represent,” Baker said. “Our system isn’t perfect, but we the people have the power to make it better. I believe that the legitimacy of our republic comes from the knowledge that every registered voter has an equal say in the elections. It’s the foundation of our entire political system.”
What do you plan to keep/change if elected?
Baker explained he plans to bring about positive change, where needed.
“For example, I’d like to streamline the commission meetings and make them available to the public online, increasing transparency and public trust,” He said. “I will help to shape our present, be a voice for the future, and preserve our past. Voters can count on me to keep our elections safe and secure. Citizens will find me out in our county’s schools, senior centers and civic group gatherings, educating them on how their county government and election cycles work.”
Dubbert says he thinks about this in a slightly different way. “Our clerk and her staff has done a fantastic job and I think the problems going forward will be external,” he said. “I see the cost of election equipment increasing. I also see outside pressures to demonstrate the accuracy and integrity of elections. I fully expect an increase of open records requests as well.”
What do you think is the most important issue facing Franklin County in the next four years?
Dubbert adds he thinks future elections will be scrutinized in a way that we haven’t yet seen.
“For a growing county the size of Franklin it will require someone with the experience to hit the ground running to safeguard against any challenge to our process and results,” he said.
Baker says the most important issue facing Franklin County is keeping our elections secure and fair in an ever-changing technological era, while educating our citizens on the importance of voting in all elections.
Why should residents vote for you?
Baker says he is running for office because he is one of the people and has their support.
“This is my home, this is where I see my past, present, and future, I know Franklin County and its citizens,” Baker said. “With every piece of paper coming through the clerk’s office, it’s like the center of a wagon wheel. It must be solid or the spokes will fail and the wheel that is the county’s business can’t move forward. My passion for and involvement in the county is my greatest strength. I give of my time and talent to make our communities better for citizens of all ages.”
Dubbert stressed he has spent the past decade creating processes and procedures that are used by clerks around the state.
“I have worked in several clerks’ offices and have helped create “best practices” for several of the functions related to this particular office,” Dubbert said. “I have actual, hands-on experience that will directly relate to my duties as clerk and very solid working relationships with the current staff in the clerk’s office. I am ready to step into this role and perform the tasks associated with the county clerk office on day one. I am job-ready and the most qualified applicant.”