Place of residence: Columbia
Education: Undergraduate degree from Truman State University, master’s in public policy from University of Missouri School of Law
Occupation: Private practice attorney
Political experience: Worked as attorney in Consumer Protection Division of Missouri Attorney General’s Office; former deputy director of elections in Missouri Secretary of State’s Office;
Opponent: Taylor Burks
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
My priority is making sure that voters have the opportunity to make their voice heard, and so I want to use my experience in the Secretary of State’s Office as the deputy director of elections, where I got to work with all of the county clerks all over the state in making sure that elections were more accessible, were easier for voters and were more secure.
What will be your top priorities if elected?
My biggest priority is making sure that every voter can easily cast a ballot in the way that they want to. … In the next few years we’re going to have a lot of advancements in voting equipment, so that’s another big priority of mine, is making sure we have public input and transparency in the voting equipment purchasing process.
What is the biggest threat to the integrity of local elections?
I think the biggest thing is that we have a low confidence, kind of across the board, amongst the public in making sure that their vote has been cast and counted in the way that they think it has been, and a lot of that falls on the clerk’s office to bolster that confidence.
And so making sure that we have good equipment, making sure that we have transparent procedures for auditing that, constantly informing the public as to what we’re doing to make sure votes are protected is really important to increasing that confidence.
What are other major issues facing the clerk’s office and how do you plan to address them?
Voting equipment is, I think, number one, the biggest issue that faces the office, mostly because the equipment is now about 12 years old and so like any other piece of electronic equipment it’s not as durable and it’s not as up to speed as some of the newer equipment. So that’s a really big challenge.
And the second challenge is that we’re going through this cyber-security reformation almost in the elections administration world, and so our voter registration database, as well as the state’s voter registration database, are going to need to be updated within the next few years.