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Both circuit clerk candidates point to experience in office

Hemmel seeks to continue Circuit Clerk’s work; Davidson wants to head office where she once worked

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Marilue Hemmel, a Democrat, is running to keep the job she got last May 2, when Gov. Jay Nixon named her as Cole County’s acting circuit clerk.

A state audit last April — critical of the office operations and its ability to handle and process money — resulted in then-Clerk Brenda Umstattd’s resignation and Nixon’s appointment, until voters next week elect someone to complete the final two years of Umstattd’s four-year term.

“I’ve been with the court for nearly 18 years,” Hemmel said last week. “I’ve always been very passionate and dedicated about working for the Cole County Circuit Court.”

She served as chief deputy clerk for three of those years and, throughout her work in the clerk’s office and as the circuit court’s administrator, Hemmel noted she’s worked with judges and court officials around the state to provide training for all Missouri court clerks — including getting ready for e-filing that already is in some courts, and is coming to Cole County in 2014.

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Like the woman she seeks to replace, Republican Dawnel Davidson said she’s passionate about the work the Cole County circuit clerk’s office does.

“When I started working there in 1994, I found a home,” she explained. “I found I liked the job.

“I liked mingling with the judges and the attorneys — and the citizens who came in and needed help.”

Davidson has been planning to run for the circuit clerk’s job for nearly a decade, and was ready to run in 2014 until next week’s special election was required by elected clerk Brenda Umstattd’s April resignation and Gov. Jay Nixon’s appointment of Democrat Marilue Hemmel as the acting circuit clerk.

Davidson has read State Auditor Tom Schweich’s 19-page report that led to that resignation.

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