Five candidates for local positions are now Leon County officeholders after taking their oaths Tuesday.
Among them is Gwen Marshall, the county’s first African-American and the first woman clerk of courts. Marshall credited her mother for pushing her to finish college 18 years ago.
“I would like to thank you today because if it wasn’t for you saying ‘No, you’re going to get out of here’ I wouldn’t be standing here today. So, thank you for your encouragement and always supporting me in all my many endeavors.”
Leon County’s new supervisor of elections, Mark Earley, comes into office promising transparency. He has promised to continue improving on the election’s office’s reputation for transparency and innovation.
Mark Earley has 30 years of elections experience starting at age 22. The county took the lead in developing automatic auditing capabilities after the 2000 presidential election manual recounts.
“The transparency and the assurance to people that their vote is being counted. We’ve got a great track record for that, but we want to rely not just on our track record, but actually make that data available to people. My goal really is to get that information out on the internet.”
A political newcomer, he beat former State Representative Alan Williams for the position last year.
Others taking the oath of office include Andy Thomas as the county’s new public defender, Akin Akinyemi as the new property appraiser and Walter McNeil as Leon County Sheriff.