Knies, Kippenbrock face off in race for clerkOctober 30, 2018
By BILL POWELL
A former court reporter in Dubois Circuit Court, who was a Kimball Office government contract administration specialist before that, wants to serve Dubois County as county clerk.
To succeed, Democrat Kiersten Knies, 39, will have to defeat Republican Amy Kippenbrock, 42, a woman who currently holds the title of first deputy clerk in the office.
The county clerk of the circuit court is more commonly called the county clerk. In Dubois County, the clerk currently has five, full-time deputies, counting Kippenbrock. The office’s duties include keeping court records, registering voters, paying out support money, administering oaths of office, overseeing elections, issuing marriage licenses and birth certificates, and estimating trial budgets.
The county clerk is elected to a four-year term but prohibited from serving more than eight years within a 12-year period. The current county clerk, Republican Bridgette Jarboe, has reached the two-term limit and cannot seek another term as clerk at this time.
Knies says she understands the importance of maintaining accurate government records, is experienced with the programs and protocols in play at the courthouse, and has created outstanding working relationships with county and state agencies while a county employee.
“As a court reporter for circuit court, I worked hand in hand with the clerk’s office for the past six years, and I saw some things I thought could be improved upon,” says Knies, who holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology from Indiana University.
Kippenbrock says it may sound cliché, but she is passionate about making a difference. And, she adds, that comes from the heart.
“I think it is each person’s responsibility to do something that makes the world a better place,” Kippenbrock says. “For me, working at the clerk’s office has been fulfilling. The next step is to run for office. I feel like I’m qualified and completely capable of doing this job.”
Kippenbrock, who is married to Kevin Kippenbrock, believes her run for public office is showing her boys — Josh, 24, Wylee, 13, and Kuper, 8 — what it is to be a responsible adult giving back to the community.
“I feel it’s showing my kids they have to grow up and be that, too,” Kippenbrock says.
Knies and her husband, Jason, are the parents of five daughters: Halle, 15, Harper, 13, Harriet, 7, Hadyn, 5, and Hanna Kate, 2.
Before joining the clerk’s office nearly two years ago, Kippenbrock worked 10 years in sales and managerial roles at Stens Corp., and had been with Spencer Industries in Dale for seven years before that in customer service.
Knies believes becoming clerk will allow her to be a bigger part of the community and play an active role in the community’s success. Because of judicial conduct rules over political activities, which are also binding on court employees, Knies had to give up her court reporter’s job to run for county clerk.
“That’s how strongly I felt about running for the office,” Knies says. “I would like to increase the level of integrity and service within the clerk’s office, and I would also like to increase integrity in the election process as well as increase voter participation.”
With her as county clerk, Kippenbrock says, the office will continue to implement changes already underway so the office runs efficiently and effectively for the courts and for the public. Communication and collaboration will be her watchwords.
“Those are the two words that stick out from the beginning with me,” Kippenbrock says. “We could strengthen our communication within our office and with those offices we interact with.”
Other local races include:
• U.S. Senate (Mike Braun / Lucy Brenton / Joe Donnelly)
• District 8 U.S. Representative (Larry Bucshon / William Tanoos)
• Indiana Senate 47 (Erin Houchin / Nick Siler)
• Indiana House 63 (Joe Lannan / Shane Lindauer)
• Indiana House 74 (Steve Bartels / Larry Kleeman)
• Dubois County Sheriff (Tom Kleinhelter / Tim Lampert)
• Dubois County Clerk (Amy Kippenbrock / Kiersten Knies)
• Dubois County Recorder (Jackie McPherron / Gail Reutman)
• Dubois County Assessor (Eve Drew / Angie Giesler)
• Dubois County Council District 2 (Becky Beckman / Darren Patterson)
• Dubois County Council District 3 (Charmain Klem / Deborah Major)
• Cass Township Advisory Board (Lee Bilderback / Randy Boehm / Steve Eckert / Lisa Matthews)
• Patoka Township Trustee (Don Astrike / Jeff Summers)
• Madison Township Trustee (Scott Blazey / Brett Collignon)
• Southwest Dubois School Board (Jason Heile / Belinda Lange)
• Greater Jasper School Board (Jimmy Corbin / Ken Schnaus)
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