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Clerk's race is first for both nominees

Harrison County Clerk

October 03, 2012 | 09:50 AM

Harrison County Circuit Clerk Sherry Brown is completing her second term in office and, therefore, is ineligible to seek the office for a third consecutive term due to term limits. Vying for the office are Democrat Rilla Gerdon and Republican Sally Harbaugh Whitis. The position is elected to a four-year term by the voters in the entire county. Questionnaires were sent to both candidates. Below are their responses.

D-Rilla Gerdon (click for larger version)
Rilla Gerdon

Residency: Corydon, a life-long resident of Harrison County

Family: Husband Richard Gerdon, and sons/grandchildren Brian (Erin Reed)/Porter; and Kevin (Candace Saulman)/Isaac, Ava, Violet and Sawyer, due to arrive just after the election

School and year graduated: Graduated from Corydon Central High in 1978

Occupation: 1st Deputy Clerk in Harrison Circuit Court Clerk's office since 2005; 1989-2004 at Keller Manufacturing Co. in accounts payable

Previous political experience: This is my first bid for a political office.

Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words)? That's easy; I just love working here! The idea of "campaigning" nearly scared me off, but, in the end, I decided, with my years of experience here, it just felt wrong to sit back and not get involved. Democracy is all about giving the voters a choice, and I felt a sense of duty to run for the office to have an opportunity to continue using the knowledge I've acquired.

What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? The Bible says, "to whom much is given, much is required", and I have been given a great opportunity to learn the many and varied duties and functions of the Clerk's office over the past 7-1/2 years. I have a lot to offer in terms of practical, hands-on experience as I have assisted the current officeholder since day one of her term in election preparation, the business of court, the organization of old and new filings and bookkeeping.

Do you believe you could make the clerk's office operate more efficiently? If so, how (in 150 words or less)? Yes. Many officeholders begin their terms as managers and administrators, but I also know the job from staff perspective. The Clerk's office has made remarkable progress in the last eight years regarding technology and user-friendly websites. I believe I can build on these advances in three areas. 1) As the "gate-keeper of the court," educating people about the tools available to them both on and off site to have access to the court process, 2) cross-training clerk staff to better serve the needs of visitors to the office and 3) maintaining excellent working relationships with the agencies we work with.

Contact information for voters: 738-1139;; and my Facebook page: Rilla Gerdon for Harrison County Clerk

Sally A. Whitis (click for larger version)
Sally A. Whitis

Residency: Laconia

Family: Husband, H.L. (Tad) Whitis; son Chris (Jackie); daughter Sarah Dougherty (Ian); grandchildren Liam, Eliza, Ella and Hallie

School and year graduated: 1973 Corydon Central High School

Additional education: B.S. management, Indiana University Southeast

Occupation: Chief deputy clerk in Harrison Superior Court

Previous political experience: None

Why are you seeking the office (in 100 words or less)? I have 8 years experience as chief deputy and 25-plus years experience having worked in the Prosecutor's office and law office. I have a degree in management from IUS and wish to continue the good work serving Harrison County residents.

What qualifies you for the office (in 100 words or less)? I have been employed in the Clerk's office and legal field primarily my whole career and have the qualities to be Harrison County clerk.

Do you believe you could make the Clerk's office operate more efficiently? If so, how (in 150 words or less)? I will continue to work with JTAC to improve Odyssey, the state-wide case management system used in our courts, and implement any other services which would benefit the public.

Contact information for voters:; Facebook Sally Whitis for Clerk

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 1-812-738-2211 email