There are roughly two months before Delaware's 2012 General Election. The main topics for most of this year's political races deal with jobs and the economy. But one race in the Tuesday, Nov. 6 election has a slightly different platform…Kent County Clerk of the Peace.
Clerk of the Peace is an elected position but it's different from that of other elected official jobs. The Kent County Clerk of the Peace is a service-oriented position. Along with issuing marriage licenses, and performing marriages and civil unions, the position of clerk has a number of other duties. These duties include witnessing county documents, attending Levy Court meetings and recording minutes, advertising and posting of county ordinances, and countersigning of warrants drawn on county funds.
This year two women are vying for the position of Clerk of the Peace: current clerk Democrat Loretta Wootten and Libertarian Mary Pat McVay. There is no Republic candidate.
McVay wants to give voters another option
Mary Pat McVay ran for the open Kent County Levy Court at-large seat two years ago but lost as Terry L. Pepper was victorious over McVay, W.G. Edmanson and Richard "Duke" Strosser.
This year, the Libertarian decided to run again but this time for the position of Kent County Clerk of the Peace. She decided to run for Clerk of the Peace because it's not a partisan or ideological office, but instead an administrative position.
"I'm a Libertarian who wishes to advance the perception of electability of alternative parties in an otherwise two-party system," McVay said. "I see this as a low risk way for voters to voice their opposition to a broken two-party system."
Since the elected position is service-oriented, she doesn't have any criticisms for the way the office is currently run or suggestions for improvements: "I'm not aware of any problems in the way the office is currently run."
For McVay, she simply wants to encourage all voters who feel the two-party system is failing them and are fed up with both Republicans and Democrats, to give a third party candidate a look this election season.
"Don't be afraid to vote for an alternative party. It only feels funny the first time," McVay said.
Wootten going for third term
Loretta Wootten has served as Clerk of the Peace for two terms, and she hopes to continue to do so with another four-year term.
"I enjoy people and serving the public," Wootten said. "My employment with this office is gratifying and usually is a happy occasion. I want to continue my service to the citizens of Kent County."
Wootten's most recent term saw a major change in her work, as the legislation for civil unions took effect Jan. 1 of this year. Wootten said the county has been able to accommodate the licensing and ceremonies for all civil unions thus far.
"The couples we have served are very grateful of the law taking effect," she said.
If elected, Wootten wants to continue the excellent service to the people of Kent County or whoever comes into the office. The one thing she would like to see improved is the new program installed to incorporate civil unions; the program has a few minor glitches that need to be corrected in order to improve the efficiency of the office. Other than these glitches, Wootten said there is little need for improvement in the office.
Wootten feels her experience, commitment and dedication in serving Kent County makes her the right candidate for Clerk of the Peace. Moreover, Wootten said she always tries to go above and beyond her duties to accommodate customers.
"I will continue my dedication to this office and I fee I deserve your vote," Wootten said.