Three in Kalamazoo County Clerk Primary

Doreen Gardner, Sarah Joshi and Meredith Place are running for the Democratic Party nomination to face Republican Mona Lisa Watson in the Nov. 3 election for a four-year term as Kalamazoo County Clerk/Register of Deeds. The winner will replace retiring incumbent Tim Snow, a Republican. The 2020 salary for the post is $118,102.

My name is Doreen Gardner. I am a native of Kalamazoo and have lived in this wonderful community my entire life. I am running for Kalamazoo County Clerk, where I hope to use my creative and strategic expertise to enhance services offered to our diverse constituents. Many do not know what the County Clerk office does, or the potential economic growth opportunities that can be facilitated from that office. I believe in excellent, expedient and hospitable service for all, including convenient hours for those who have jobs. Part of my vision includes protecting the integrity of voters and the process. I also plan to observe and appraise current systems while looking for opportunities to upgrade and streamline processes.

I have connections to the business, educational, faith and non-profit sectors of our community. My experience includes 25 years of successful management experience with a Top 10 Fortune 500 Company. I am also a member of Southwest Michigan First – Leadership Kalamazoo Class of 2020, a John Maxwell Leadership Trainer and Life Coach, a Kalamazoo election chairperson, a licensed and ordained minister, and on the Northside Ministerial Alliance Leadership Team and more.

Vote for Doreen Gardner – service, leadership, experience.

Sarah Joshi: The role of county clerk is one of the most complex in county government, responsible for upholding 596 state statutes. It is not an entry-level job.

As Tim Snow, one of Michigan’s longest-serving and most well-respected county clerks, steps aside this year, I will provide a seamless transition.

With a master’s degree in public administration, 20 years of elections experience – the last four of which have been as deputy county clerk and elections specialist – and as the only state-accredited election official in the race, I have the education, experience, relationships, stamina, and temperament to fulfill the role effectively.

My candidacy has broad bipartisan support, including the endorsement of elected officials throughout the county who understand the role of county clerk and rely on me currently to support and coordinate their work.

This is an important year. The next county clerk will be instrumental in drawing new county commission district lines. It is imperative to have someone in the office who has a proven track record of working fairly with all members of our community and upholding the law in an unbiased manner. I am that candidate.

I respectfully ask for your vote on August 4.

Meredith Place, Kalamazoo County Commissioner: Growing up, I learned that hard work and determination were recipes for success and caring for your neighbors was a moral responsibility. I was raised by a public school teacher and disabled Vietnam veteran who, through their experiences, taught me that politics is personal.

I’m running for Kalamazoo County Clerk/Register of Deeds because our next clerk must make expanding and protecting the right to vote a priority. I believe voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. We need a clerk who will implement the sweeping election changes that resulted from the passage of Proposal 3, including establishing satellite offices in densely populated areas where we see voter suppression, giving new registrants another place to register-in person and make voting more convenient.

I’m running to improve voter outreach and engagement by working with already established groups, neighborhood associations, and local township clerks to coordinate voter education efforts and innovative ways to make voting easier.

I will prioritize the security and integrity of our elections. As clerk/register, I’ll work to implement important technological improvements like e-filing, data sharing and using analytics to improve services. The time has come to modernize and enhance the Clerk/Register office to better serve our community.

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