The race for Effingham county circuit Clerk turned into a race for an open office after Deputy Clerk Pam Mathy defeated Becky Jansen in the March primary.
Not wanting to give Mathy a free ride into office, local Republicans nominated former Stevens Industries employee John Niemerg after the primary.
Mathy lives in Effingham, while Niemerg lives in the Bishop Creek community between Effingham and Dieterich.
Neither candidate has held a political office.
Pam Mathy said her experience in the Effingham County Circuit Clerk’s makes her the best candidate for the office.
“I have six-plus years experience in the office,” Mathy said. “I will be ready from day one.”
Mathy, 53, is squaring off against high school classmate John Niemerg (Teutopolis Class of 1977) in the Nov. 6 general election. She earned the Democratic nomination by defeating two-term incumbent Becky Jansen in the March primary.
Mathy ran in the primary by charging that Jansen spent too much time out of the office at out-of-town meetings. One of her goals is to practice what she preached.
“I want to be a hands-on manager,” she said. “I want to be there to help my fellow workers.”
Mathy said she would curtail out-of-town trips and cut other unnecessary expenses. She said she would also foster better working relationships with other office holders and the County Board.
“I know what needs to be done in the office,” she said. “Also, I am a people person who can deal both with the public and other office holders.”
Mathy said she has worked in every division of the clerk’s office, from traffic, criminal, civil, probate and in the courtroom.
“You name it, I’ve done it,” she said.
Mathy said one key issue is how to maintain the latest technology to best serve the public. One thing she would do is put the brakes on any new technological purchases until uses are found for the unused devices already in the office.
“We’ve got scanners sitting on our desks that have never been used,” she said. “Let’s use the technology we have instead of buying more things we won’t use.”
Before taking a job in the clerk’s office, Mathy spent seven years at Patterson Technology Center in Effingham before her division was eliminated.
She is a member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church and Catholic Daughters of the Americas.
Mathy and husband Mike have four children and live in Effingham.