Two political newcomers are looking to unseat a longtime incumbent in the June 5 primary race to become the Baldwin circuit court clerk.
Jody Campbell has served in the office 14 and a half years, after serving the last three years of Jackie Calhoun’s term and being elected to six-year terms in both 2006 and 2012. She faces Pam Forbes and Mark Stejskal in the Republican primary. No Democrats qualified to run for the position.
“I am running for re-election because I love my job and the people I work with and serve in Baldwin County, and I would like to continue to serve the public,” Campbell said. “I have been circuit clerk for 14 years, I know the job and have run a productive and efficient office doing more with less.”
Forbes is a lifelong resident of Baldwin County and was a 30-year employee in the office of the circuit clerk.
“I am knowledgeable of the many aspects of this office, and if elected, my main objective is to restore communication internally and externally with other offices, as well as work on some accountability issues that have been presented,” Forbes said.
Stejskal, also a native of Baldwin County, is in the insurance business and has a finance degree. He says he can help manage the money in the circuit clerk’s office.
“I believe that the clerk needs to have experience in the private sector to manage accounts and personnel matters,” Stejskal said. “I will also strive to build strong relationships with the judges, district attorney, sheriff and both the County Commission and local leaders. I will ensure that the clerk’s office works effectively for the citizens of Baldwin County while providing more services to our satellite courthouses in Fairhope and Foley.”
Personnel or lack thereof is a major challenge for the circuit clerk’s office, Campbell says. Employees receive the training they need in her office and often find better-paying jobs with those skills.
“After being trained in the clerk’s office, we tend to lose court specialists to other offices in the court system, making it necessary to start over,” Campbell said. “Funding and personnel are always a challenge. Having four offices in three different cities is a challenge because of being so spread out.”
Forbes says she will work to add employees to the office if elected.
“This office is also faced with being understaffed and I will do what I can to bring in more employees,” Forbes said.
During his tenure, if elected, Stejskal says he’ll work to get necessary information to the court and law enforcement agencies the office serves.
“We need to ensure that all information is provided to the judges, district attorney and sheriff so they can do their job effectively,” Stejskal said. “We must respect the judges and serve them and citizens of Baldwin County with the highest level of customer service.”