County Clerk candidates talk gay marriage, gun control in public debate
Republican Minde Lux and Democrat Chelsea Plevinski want Mount Pleasant residents to get out and vote — and not just because they’re running for Isabella County Clerk.
The two candidates spoke at length in front of about 50 people concerning the importance of voter registration, gun control and marriage equality during the County Clerk debate Thursday night in the Mount Pleasant City Building. The event was hosted by the Mount Pleasant League of Women Voters.
The role of the county clerk involves filling out birth, death and marriage certificates along with other vital documents necessary for maintaining the city of Mount Pleasant.
Residents of Isabella County can vote for one of these two candidates on Nov. 8.
Lux, the incumbent county clerk, has been an employee of the county for the past 19 years, four of which have been as county clerk. A graduate of Mid Michigan Community College, Lux has been a resident of Isabella County for 42 years.
“(In) the four years I’ve been county clerk, I’ve accomplished a lot,” she said. “We have a great team of employees at the county clerk’s office.”
Lux said one of her greatest accomplishments during her tenure was a project involving scanning historical documents and electronically saving them in case of a fire.
Should she be elected again, Lux said she will continue to lead a non-partisan office.
“Politics doesn’t play a role in the office at all,” Lux said. “Once you walk into the county clerk’s office, it is very non-political.”
On the topic of same-sex marriage, Lux said she was one of the first county clerks in the state who officiated same-sex marriages 2015 after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalized the unions.
Lux stressed that her job is done to the best of her ability, regardless of personal beliefs or biases.
Throughout the night, she and her opponent agreed on issues such as marriage equality and property taxes.
When a question was raised regarding how Lux felt about the state abolishing gun boards, she was quick to answer.
“(The Michigan government) gave a lot of work to the county clerk and employees,” Lux said. “What it does is allows some people to slip through the system. (Applications for concealed carry) are not secure enough as it used to be when we did have a gun board.”
Plevinski, a Central Michigan University alumna, is an outreach coordinator with Mid Michigan Community Action. She was also a graduate assistant with the university from August 2013 to May 2015, coordinating the Poverty Simulation, teaching classes and publishing work.
Her focus, if elected, is voter education and participation.
“We need to get people to get out there to vote and part of the (county clerk) position would be about voting education,” Plevinski said. “I intend to do outreach in the community to educate voters and get them to (become) involved more.”
Working closely with the university, Plevinski said she believes students within the community receive an unfair amount of complaints based on their activities.
“(Students) do make up the heart of this community, and they make up so much of it,” Plevinski said. “They bring so much income and revenue. Their voice is just as important as everyone else in the community.”
Plevinski said she would also like to look into the purchasing of a fireproof safe, to safeguard city documents which cannot be electronically backed up.
When asked what her stance was on the gay marriage federal law being overturned, Plevinski said she was for equal rights.
“I am of the opinion that you should be able to marry whomever you wish to marry,” she said. “If that is the law, then that is the law. That is what I’m willing to uphold.”
Should she be elected, Plevinski said the major challenge facing the county clerk’s office would concern voting.
“Retaining integrity and borders of Isabella County voters, improving access to voting for all residents and protecting all citizens rights to participate in the legislative process (are imperative),” she said.
Plevinski has never held a county clerk position.