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The Journal Gazette

  • FILE

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:00 am

Editorial

No preference

No Democrat stands out in clerk's race

Allen County Clerk

Republican Party ballot

Christopher (Chris) Nancarrow

 

Democratic Party ballot

Danielle N. Andersen

Gina M. Burgess

Dave Burgess

David Christopher Roach

With a staff of more than 60, the county clerk oversees the operations of the county's superior and circuit courts, including scheduling and handling of documents and records, as well as processing more than $34 million in fines, fees, child-support payments and other financial transactions. The clerk also is a member of the county Election Board.

In short, it's a job that demands managerial experience and skill as well as a deep understanding of the legal system.

In the Republican primary, one candidate has filed to succeed Clerk Lisbeth Borgmann, who is stepping down after eight years because of term limits. Chris Nancarrow has been chief deputy clerk since 2011. 

There are four names on the Democratic primary ballot for Allen County clerk of the courts. One, Danielle N. Andersen, told The Journal Gazette this week that she is “not actively campaigning” because of personal developments. Another is David C. Roach, aperennial candidate for a range of city and county offices. And there are Gina and Dave Burgess, a husband and wife who both are seeking the nomination.

Gina Burgess, 45, said she is a community advocate and freelance business consultant, with 11 years of paralegal experience and a bachelor of arts in business management. Though she recognizes the importance of the clerk's administrative duties, Burgess said, “I am more interested in the elections side. ... I'm an outspoken advocate of election fairness.” She wants to make the political process more open for independent and third-party candidates and see that more polling places are located in areas accessible to Democratic voters.

Dave Burgess, 48, said he is a military veteran working to complete an MBA at Trine University. He operates a company that makes custom fishing rods and lures called Raising Cane Pole.

Burgess said his wife was “my inspiration to run,” but that he would bring his experience working at several companies to the job. “She is a very qualified candidate,” Dave Burgess said. “But she is more about equalizing the playing field. ... I would oversee and make sure that everything is done on the up and up,” he said. “I'm a real stickler on following rules to a T.”

Both Dave and Gina Burgess seem OK with the fact their spouse is running in the same primary.

“He doesn't see the need to make the kind of changes I'm advocating for,” Gina Burgess said.

We offer no endorsement in the Democratic primary.

The winner will face Nancarrow, a former paralegal who holds a law degree among several advanced degrees.