Candidate statement from County Clerk candidate Russell K. Hunt:
The next four years will be the most critical in our nation’s history since its inception. The County Clerk’s role is primarily as supervisor of elections, though there are other responsibilities, such as issuing marriage licenses and fictitious business names.
The current County Clerk was anointed by her predecessor Ann Reed and has never faced a competitive election. She is a career bureaucrat. But I view the position as the public’s watchdog. I will not sit around waiting for retirement. In fact, as a believer of term limits, I am only seeking one term.
In my investigations of local elections, I found four individuals who don’t live in the districts they represent. Yes. Carpetbaggers. One even claimed to live in a condemned house. I brought this to Democrat Cathy Darling’s attention; it was ignored.
Furthermore, I reviewed campaign finance documents. I found many candidates did not fill out the forms correctly or omitted information and even failed to follow up on additional documentation. I found campaign contributions that were illegal. I also found pay to play scandals where local businesses were guaranteed contracts with school districts in exchange for campaign contributions for school bonds. All of these situations should have been reported to the Secretary of State, the District Attorney and the public at large. Instead, Mrs. Darling looked the other way, preferring to read romance novels instead of doing her job.
The Clerk’s position pays close to $90,000 a year. For that kind of money we deserve better. Currently, 40% of the adult population is not registered to vote. I intend to change that. I will initiate a program of outreach into all corners of the county to greatly reduce those numbers.
We can greatly reduce election costs by going to an all mail-in ballot election. New technology now allows voters to put their thumbprints on the ballot envelope to insure against fraud. I will use those envelopes. In the last school board election, over a hundred people were employed to man the polls when 75% of the people voted by mail. This makes no sense.
I will require all registering voters to provide us with proof of their identity. No illegal aliens will be allowed to vote. And just as important, I will personally visit the home of every local candidate to insure they are truly residing in the areas in which they represent. I will organize and coordinate local civic groups to have a series of candidate forums throughout the county. We should be able to meet who we are voting for and find out their opinions.
I will start a program of public education, where I as the County Clerk will go into the high school and college classrooms and explain to students the aspects of local government and how it effects them.
I will aggressively enforce the Elections Code and campaign finance laws. There will be no funny business on my watch.
If elected, I will follow the above agenda as well as work with the eleven-member staff in the office. All personnel will be cross trained to serve at least temporarily in all positions. This will save the taxpayers money as we won’t have to wait for one individual to come back from leave to serve the public in their speciality. I will be available to the public at all times that I am in the office.
Sincerely, Russell K. Hunt
I work as a science teacher for a group of charter schools in the valley. I am also an economic consultant and have worked all over the world to help firms establish a presence in these places. I am a real estate developer with my major project being an adult community called “The Wine Colony at Lucerne.” I have a diverse background and have worked with many types of people.
As for my education, I went to school locally all through my sophomore year in college. I obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics, business, and history. My Master’s degree is in Public Administration. My teaching credential is in social science, chemistry, biology, physics, economics and geoscience. I consider this to be a very well rounded education.