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Race to replace disgraced Macomb County Clerk Karen Spranger

Posted: 3:41 PM, Aug 07, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-07 19:41:17Z

Birth certificate copy requests, change of address request and concealed weapon permit applications are just some of the records a county clerk is responsible for, so why are there 17 candidates running for the office in Macomb County?

Oakland University Political Science Professor David Dulio says the low-key elected position is a rare opportunity to maintain the role.

“It’s an opportunity to get into a position that they may be able to keep for years and years to come,” said Dulio.

The challenge, Dulio says, is whoever wins has to do a good job.

For years, the Macomb County clerk did just that, winning multiple awards dating back to the early 1990s.

That changed in 2016 when Karen Spranger was elected while Donald Trump won the county and the country.

Her tenure was short-lived and riddled with scandal, from lawsuits over workplace harassment to fines of ethics violations, a crash of a county vehicle and her eventual removal from office.

A judge ruled Spranger was ineligible to be county clerk because she did not live in the county when elected.

“This is a crucial election. This office has went to hell in a hand basket so to speak. One of the best offices for clerk in the United States,” said Macomb County resident Ruthie Stevenson.

Six Democrats and 11 Republicans are hoping for the opportunity to move past Tuesday’s primary to the general election to replace Spranger.

Democrats

Steve Bieda, Fred Miller, Carol Shumard Diehl, Cynthia A. Konal, Eva Tkaczyk, Geoffrey Varga.

Republicans

Nicholyn Brandenburg, Jaxon Goodman, Sylvia Grot, Ralph Lambert, James Perna, Trese Servitto-Smith, Randell J. Shafer, Alan Shepperd, Lisa Sinclair, Paula Verticchio, Julie Williams.