First Posted: 4/30/2014
LUMBERTON — Three candidates are vying for the position of clerk of Superior Court in the May 6 primary, including an incumbent touting experience and two challengers promoting change.
Shelena Smith, the current clerk of Superior Court, said she is the only candidate with experience in the position.
Smith said being a licensed attorney helps her make the judicial decisions required of a clerk of court.
“My formal legal training and experience enable me to interpret and apply the law in a fair and unbiased manner and also places me in the unique position of being able to train and educate my staff in the interpretation and application of law in their daily duties,” she said.
Tammy Jacobs Cummings believes it’s time for a change.
“The people of Robeson County have not had a choice since 1998 in the Robeson County clerk of court’s office because this was the last time a seated clerk of court had an opponent on the ballot. Since then, appointments have determined who represents us in this office,” she said.
Cummings said her 16 years of experience in Robeson and Wake counties’ court systems qualify her to take over the position. She has worked as a legal assistant and victim-witness coordinator.
Wixie Stephens, who worked in the clerk’s office as a Superior Court clerk, said she would focus on improving customer service at the courthouse.
Stephens said her experience working with the courts, and a background in political science and pre-law, would help her assist customers and staff.
“It was a prerequisite that each clerk learned all of the departments in the judicial court system,” she said.
The salary for clerk of Superior Court depends on a county’s population. Based on the 2010 census, according to state statutes, Robeson County’s clerk of Superior Court should earn an annual salary of $93,578, .
The Robesonian did not interview the candidates for this story, but instead relied on information provided via a questionnaire. All three candidates for clerk of Superior Court answered the questionnaire. Their answers can be found at www.robesonian.com.