For Orange County Clerk of Superior Court, the INDY Endorses Mark Kleinschmidt | Our Endorsements | Indy Week
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For Orange County Clerk of Superior Court, the INDY Endorses Mark Kleinschmidt 

Clerk of Superior Court is likely not a position most voters interact with or think about. Incumbent James Stanford has never been challenged for reelection before. Enter former Chapel Hill mayor Mark Kleinschmidt, a seasoned politician.

Stanford has kept the trains running on time for seventeen years. He's right to point out the unjust nature of increasing courts costs and fees, and we appreciate his support of the misdemeanor diversion program and his experience leading Administrative Office of the Courts committees.

Kleinschmidt, the first openly gay mayor in Chapel Hill's history who was defeated by Pam Hemminger in 2015, says he entered the race at the behest of local attorneys and other officials. There has also been a controversy swirling about whether, under Stanford's leadership, the clerk's office has made same-sex couples jump through additional hoops when adopting. (In a statement, Stanford said the extra paperwork is a precaution against legal challenges.)

That aside, we're encouraged by the opportunities for criminal justice reform that Kleinschmidt sees in the position. He wants to bring in bilingual staff and mitigate the damage of failing to appear in court by implementing an automatic notification system. He says he would work with the district attorney to identify old warrants that could be dismissed and wants to set up an amnesty day so qualifying people with outstanding warrants can have them cleared.

For these reasons, we endorse Kleinschmidt.

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