With the presidential election looming near, I hadn’t thought much about local elections, that is, until an invitation to the Tom Klein Steak Fry Campaign Fundraiser came across my desk. He is the Circuit Clerk for the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, in my hometown, and running for re-election.
I have been friends with Tom and his family or a while now, but I never thought much about his job, until invited to his fundraiser. It was held at the Venetian Club, and I was surprised to see such a large crowd in the banquet room. There were many supporters, over 200 in total. I didn’t have to look far to find Tom, he was decked out in his best suit, smiling and greeting everyone. This is far cry from the usual ball cap and Jethro Tull t-shirt that I’m accustomed, but thankfully, the smile was the same or I probably wouldn’t have recognized him. I was ushered to his table, and sat with his family for dinner. With dinner complete, and cocktail in hand, I was finally able to talk to Tom more about his job. Luckily, I had done some research about the position and was amazed at what all it entails. I wondered, what made him want to be Circuit Clerk in the first place? Tom explained that he had worked in every department in that office and when his predecessor left, he wanted to be sure a new computer system to track and record all court information was implemented, and done right. He was successful. This is only one of his many accomplishments since he has been in office. I saw him in a new light, more than just a fun music lover and friend, but a dedicated public servant.
In the end, I was glad this invitation had come across my desk. I realized, that it’s not just the big offices and elections that need attention, and the right people elected; it’s the local ones too.