Native Information: Q&A: Turner, Little difficult for circuit clerk in Mississippi County (7/22/22)

CHARLESTON, Mo. — When Mississippi County voters go to the polls on Aug. 2, they will have to decide only one local race — circuit clerk.

Appearing on the Republican ballot are candidates: Christina Branam Turner and Denise Little. The following is a Q&A with each candidate.

Describe your background

TURNER: My name is Christina Branam Turner, a lifelong resident of Mississippi County. I have been employed by the county for 15 years, where I began working as the Child Support Clerk in the Prosecuting Attorney’s office for 11 years. My duties included; facilitating child support hearings, filing criminal and civil cases, traffic tickets, subpoenas, and helped to implement the E-File system currently used in the Circuit Court. In 2018, I became Deputy County Clerk under County Clerk, Emily Pullen. My duties as Deputy include; county payroll and accounts payable, maintain monthly reports, and assist with the annual county budget.

LITTLE: My name is Denise Little and I am a wife of 35 years, a mother, and “NeNe” to my only grandson. I was raised in East Prairie and graduated from EPHS in 1986. I am a part of Full Gospel Church where I serve in ministry for youth, worship, and women’s ministry. In February of 1996, I began working at Simmons & Graham Pharmacy as a pharmacy technician where I served and retired after 25 years. In 2020 I started working in the Circuit Clerk’s office where I’ve gained knowledge and experience in the judicial system.

What issues do you feel are most important to Mississippi County?

TURNER: The Circuit’s Clerk’s office works with several entities besides Mississippi County. There are filings coming in daily from multiple counties, agencies, and attorneys. To me, what’s most important to Mississippi County is getting work completed efficiently and in a timely manner because you are literally dealing with people’s lives. It is important to be able to work well with all agencies while also being able to work well with each other in the office.

LITTLE: I believe bringing unity amongst our law enforcement and the community is very important. Also, providing outlets and activities for our youth to deter them from seeking negative avenues of importance and acceptance. Lastly, we, Mississippi County, need to put an end to drugs and violence in our own communities. We can make a difference by uniting because we are stronger together.

If elected, what are your priorities?

TURNER: My priority, if elected, is to continue the hard work of the current Circuit Clerk and to have to work completed in a consistent and timely manner.

LITTLE: If elected, my first priority is to my constituents. I am here to be a leader in our community. Next is to my fellow co-workers. I will do my best to work with the state of Missouri to provide training for new programs that are implemented in the system. As a life-long learner, I will also seek more training for myself to ensure that I do the best job I can as Mississippi County Circuit Clerk.

If elected, what changes would you like to implement?

TURNER: One of the changes I would like to implement in the Circuit Clerk’s office would be to utilize Court Funds, which is an electronic payment by card, instead of sending jurors paper checks, which cuts down on costs of postage and paper to the tax payers. I would also like to keep an open line of communication between the office and other agencies to ensure that tasks are being completed correctly in an efficient and timely manner.

LITTLE: At first, I would like to implement taking credit cards as a form of payment to the Circuit Clerk’s office for fines, court costs, etc. Mississippi County has a great Circuit Clerk’s office, so additional change would be assessed over time.

Why should voters choose you?

TURNER: I have been a dedicated county employee for 15 years, 11 years in the justice system and four years assisting in the county’s daily operations. I have learned many things over the years and have made lifelong friends along the way. If elected I would love the chance to carry out the duties of the Circuit Clerk as I feel I am capable of doing so with my years of experience.

LITTLE: I am asking voters to consider choosing me for their Circuit Clerk because I am for the people of Mississippi County. I believe I show attributes of being dedicated and hard working. I have been serving in the Circuit Clerk’s office since November 2020, and I am willing to do whatever is necessary to ensure that I am well trained and knowledgeable to make the next four years a success.

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