Montgomery County Clerk of the Circuit Court



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Alan Bowser

• Where you live: Silver Spring

• Date of birth: Aug. 17, 1952

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Attorney at law (current). Chief of staff, state Delegate Pamela Queen, 2016. U.S. deputy assistant secretary of commerce for basic industries, 1999-2001.

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey’s 10th District (1982, 1988), New Jersey State Senate (1983), Montgomery County Clerk of the Circuit Court (2014).

• Campaign information:

 

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

I’m running to be the next Clerk of the Circuit Court to provide new leadership, new vision, new energy and improved management to the Clerk’s Office. We need more transparency, more accountability, more diversity and better representation in the Montgomery County Court House. Our County has changed, but the Court House has not. I’m running to be the best Clerk ever, and to effectively advocate for the staff, our customers, and our community.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

The most important issue is the successful implementation of the Maryland Electronics Courts (MDEC) project, i.e., e-filing of civil and criminal cases in the District & Circuit Courts. Successfully educating the bar and the public about how to properly use this new technology is essential to the efficient work of the Clerk’s office. It’s also important to position the Office to address the rapidly changing demographics in the county, to provide better services for seniors, individuals with disabilities, and people whose primary language is not English. I would give high priority to innovation & more effective use of technology.

3 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

I have more than 20 years' experience as a Maryland attorney, primarily in Montgomery County. My practice has focused on family law, elder law, and non-profit counseling. I have devoted many hours to pro bono service helping immigrants, seniors, and people with disabilities. I have experience in many Courthouses throughout the state, including Montgomery, Prince George's, Carroll, Howard & Garrett counties.  I am a former Chief of Staff at the Montgomery County Council & the Maryland General Assembly, an appointee by the County Council & County Executive to several County boards & committees, and President of Safe Silver Spring.

 

Barbara H. Meiklejohn (incumbent)

• Where you live: Clarksburg

• Date of birth: May 26, 1956

• Current occupation and employer (may also list up to two other jobs you’ve held); if retired, list your last job and employer: Current elected Clerk of the Court. I have been with the judiciary for 42 years.

• Political experience (public offices held and when, as well as unsuccessful campaigns for office and which years): I am the current Clerk of the Court. That is the only office I have ever run for.

• Campaign information:

 

1 – Why are you running for this office? (75 words max)

The judiciary is my passion. Since elected Clerk in 2014, I’ve increased community outreach and education by creating internship programs, providing community-based organizations with tools to navigate the court system, and engaging in local job fairs. It is vital to continue these current programs as well as to continue preparing court staff for the implementation of MDEC. I am the most qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced candidate, and my continued leadership will ensure a seamless transition.

2 – What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it? (100 words max)

The most important issue is the implementation of Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) in Montgomery County. MDEC is the new state-wide computer system that will take the courts from paper to paperless and is scheduled for implementation next year. I have already begun the training process with court staff. As a member of the Gap Analysis Work Group, I am reviewing the business practices and our current case management system to determine the changes needed for the implementation MDEC. I am also a member of the team helping to develop a differentiated case management (DCM) enhancement for the MDEC system.

3 – What experience (work, political or other) has prepared you to hold this office? (100 words max)

I have worked in public service with the judiciary for over 42 years. Through dedication, knowledge, and dependability, I was promoted up the ranks of the court system and elected Clerk of the Court in 2014. I am uniquely qualified to know what is important to staff, management, and the residents of Montgomery County, and I am the only candidate with knowledge of the daily operations of the Circuit Court. I am a member of the Conference of Circuit Court Clerks, the Circuit Court Clerks Association, and the Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management, where I sit on the advisory board.

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