Friday, May 1, 2020

Three Vying for County Clerk Position

The race for Sequoyah County District Court Clerk is heating up with three candidates vying for the position. The winner will be determined by voters on June 30.

 Vicki Beaty

The incumbent, Democrat Vicki Beaty, issued the following statement:

“I am Vicki Beaty, your Sequoyah County District Court Clerk. I have served you in this position for the last 11 years and I am seeking re-election in 2020. I have enjoyed serving in the capacity of court clerk and being a public servant to the people of Sequoyah County.”

“Since I have been in office, we uploaded all cases and all documents so they are available for viewing online,” Beaty’s statement continues. “We have been uploading old cases, and our end goal is to have all archived records online so they are more accessible for public viewing. We have implemented a new statewide jury system that makes jury selection more diversified. After a pool of jurors has been selected, we can text or email those that are selected to sit on a panel. All other jurors are not required to call and check in each day of a two-week term, which allows them to continue with their daily schedule unless they have been notified.”

“The court clerk’s office works on a county budget and a state budget. When I took office in 2009, the following year and thereafter the state has asked us to decrease our budget each year and I have done so and maintained the running of the office and staff on approximately one-half the amount when I took office.”

“I have been instrumental, along with the other county officials past and present, in improving and updating the appearance of the courthouse so that we have a facility that we can be proud of. We also have purchased the old Agent Funeral Home so we can have room for expansion and it allows for more parking for the courthouse now.”

“I want to continue serving as your court clerk, and I’m asking for your support and vote in the November 2020 election. Thank you.”

Gina Cox

Gina Cox, the current court clerk for the Town of Roland, is seeking Beaty’s seat. She issued the following statement:

“I began my career with my husband. We started a small swimming pool business that lasted 17 years. I have experience in office administration stemming from working for the local newspaper (the Roland Register) as the sales representative.”

“In 2005, I became the assistant office administrator for the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office and held that position for five years before moving to the Town of Roland. For the Town of Roland I started as a communications officer, working my way up to communications officers’ supervisor and eventually to a role as Roland’s court clerk. I have attended several classes and have worked hard to gain certifications to run the Sequoyah County Court Clerk’s office properly and efficiently.”

“I feel the citizens of Sequoyah County would welcome a change in leadership at the Sequoyah County Court Clerk’s office. I feel with my knowledge, work ethic and professional business attitudes, I can bring a much-needed change, a change that would Improve overall attitudes, public image and the attention to details required to be a court clerk.”

Cox and her husband Greg have four daughters, three sons-in-law, three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Shaloa Edwards

Shaloa Dean Edwards, a Republican, is also running for Beaty’s position. He is the chief of police in Bokoshe and was born and raised in Sequoyah County, graduating from Sallisaw High School in 1980. He issued the following statement:

“My family has served this county in several capacities throughout my life. My mother, Bernell Edwards, held the position of Sequoyah County court clerk for several years. I have considered running for this position for several years and feel that this would be a great time to transition to this part of my career. My father, the late August Edwards, was a police officer in Sallisaw for several years. My son served as a jailer at Sequoyah County before he entered the military.”

“I have served the people as a public servant for 36 years working to provide a safer community for our citizens. I have always worked well with the public to assist them in whatever trouble they may have. I believe in being professional, courteous and compassionate with people. During my time as a public servant I have helped develop many community events and programs. I started Halloween on Elm Street in Sallisaw, served as founding chairman of the Sallisaw NOW Coalition and the Sallisaw Youth Coalition, as well as working hard with schools to enhance the school resource officers’ programs both in Crawford County (Arkansas) and Sequoyah County.”

“I have served in law enforcement since February 1984. I was the chief of police in Sallisaw for nine years. I also worked at the Van Buren (Arkansas) Police Department, Arkansas Highway Police, United Nations International Police Mission in Kosovo, Dyer Police Department and as a private contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense in Afghanistan.”

“I have served as management or supervisor of police departments for several years. I have the experience needed to manage and oversee the day-to-day operations of the Sequoyah County court clerk’s office. My experience will help me in dealing with our courts and filing court documents.”

Edwards attended Connors State College and Northeastern State University, where he majored in criminal justice and minored in paralegal studies. He has more than 2,500 hours of specialized training in law enforcement that he believes will assist him in operating the clerk’s office. “I will take pride in being a good steward of the court’s documents and maintain them in a safe and secure manner,” he said. “I feel that continued training and education to bring new and more efficient procedures are important to the process of improvement.”

“I would appreciate your support and vote in this election.”

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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