Following two months of complicated resignations and race-switching by officials, Davis County should have a new county clerk Wednesday.
The county has been without a clerk since May 31 when Michael Allphin resigned to take a state court post. Then, County Commissioner Glen E. Saunders switched from seeking re-election to run for clerk. He and and Allphin were accused of conspiring to keep others out of the commission race.Commissioners Harold J. Tippetts and William Peters interviewed the three people nominated for the clerk post by the Republican Party on Monday afternoon and have scheduled a decision for Wednesday morning's commission meeting.
Saunders is one of the three candidates nominated by the Republican Party to temporarily replace Allphin. He therefore is not participating in the selection process.
State law requires the party to which the departing officer belongs to nominate three replacements and submit that list to the county commissioners for consideration. The other two candidates nominated by the party's central committee are Margene Isom and Lois Pickett.
The appointment will be good only through the end of this year. State law requires that the final two years of Allphin's term be filled through election this November. Both Isom and Saunders filed for the post and since neither won the party nomination outright during the county convention in May, they will face off in a September primary to see who advances to the final ballot.
Pickett has been a longtime party worker and was a surprise nominee during the central committee meeting last week. She edged out Jan Ukena for the third position. Ukena had announced intentions to seek the interim post and was expected to be on the list of three names submitted for commission consideration. Pickett was also nominated during the committee meeting, although she was not in attendance, and after ballots were counted, she had edged out Ukena for the third spot on the list.
Allphin's resignation and Saunders' decision to switch from the four-year commission race to the clerk's race created a minor controversy in early May. Some claimed they had conspired on the move to prevent other political parties from filing for the commission race where Saunders was considered a very strong contender for re-election.
Allphin was not notified of his selection for a state court post until more than a week after the filing deadline passed and did not inform commissioners of his decision until April 25. Saunders had been considering dropping out of the commission race, which included two other Republicans and two Democrats. Then he opted to switch races.
Saunders garnered 54 percent of the delegate vote at the county convention compared to 46 percent for Isom. Should Saunders be selected for the post he would then have to resign from the commission and the Republicans would have to submit a list of three replacement nominees for commission consideration.