December 08, 2022

Two run for Clarke County Recroder

Candra Brooks

There are two candidates on the ballot for the position of Clarke County Recorder - Democrat incumbent Peggy Cummings and Republican opponent Selena Humphrey.

Election Day is Nov. 8. Absentee voting begins Oct. 19.

Both candidates were given the same questionnaire by the Osceola Sentinel-Tribune. Responses are listed alphabetically.

Peggy Cummings

Background – tell me about yourself.

I was raised with strong family values and an appreciation for hard work and the importance of helping others. My mother set an example of excellence while raising 6 children and I’m proud of the legacy she created in our lives.

My husband, Terry, and I have built our home here in Clarke County on our family farm. We raised our three children here and are now blessed with their spouses and eight amazing, busy grandchildren who are all residents of Clarke County. Running a family farm helped me to know the importance of record keeping and how to be conservative with financial matters. I received my associate degree from SWCC where I graduated with honors.

Why are you running for this position? If currently in this position, how long have you been in it, and can you give a brief overview of your time in office?

I am running for re-election because I take great pride in my office and the work we do. With all the changes that have occurred over the past 12 years, never have the residents of Clarke County had their needs interrupted. I want to make sure that continues for all of you. I have been the Clarke County Recorder for 11 ½ years. I was the recorder clerk for 2 ½ years under Recorder, Pennie Gonseth Cheers. I have overseen many advances in the recorder’s office over my past three terms. Vital Records have progressed from cut and paste onto certified paper to being able to access specific vital records online. When several recorder’s offices passed the ability to do passports onto other offices, I made the necessary adjustments to make sure passports were available in our county. There was a time when DNR licenses were not available in the recorder’s office but we have made sure to continue this service. My office is currently working on a preservation project to scan, index and make available to the public, records back to 1980. I am a past President of District 4 Recorder’s Association and currently on the Legislative committee.

What are your goals as recorder?

I am committed to preserving and protecting Clarke County’s records for future generations. My office is seeking funding through the American Rescue Plan Act to scan the balance of the public records in our vault so that all Clarke County Records are safe from any and all disasters. I plan to continue making the Recorder’s office an example of local government in action through technology, and moving forward in a modern efficient manner. I will continue to focus on fiscally responsible policies, continuing to collect fees for services provided. I will continue to maintain the professional standards in the Recorder’s office and be a state leader in service to the citizens of our county by continuing the friendly, professional service to which you are accustomed.

What makes you the best candidate for the job? If currently in this position, why should you continue?

I am the best candidate for the job because of my experience as the current Clarke County Recorder and my ability to serve ALL residents of Clarke County. When I first took office, I solemnly swore to support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Iowa, to faithfully and impartially, to the best of my ability, discharge all the duties of the office of Recorder, in Clarke County, as now and hereafter required by law. I do this, not as a Democrat or Republican, but as the Clarke County Recorder. I believe the residents of Clarke County deserve to continue to receive the knowledgeable, professional, efficient service they have come to know. My dedication to Clarke County is evidenced by my initial and now continual certification by the Iowa County Recorder’s Association. This program allows me to remain the only resident of Clarke County that has the educational background and is certified to perform the duties established by the Code of Iowa.

Anything else you would like to add?

I have worked for the county for a total of 19 years. My previous county experience was 2003-2005 PT Emergency Management, where I updated the emergency management plan as an employee of the Emergency Management team. I also worked PT in the Recorder’s office at that time. I then worked as the Clarke County Veterans Affairs/General Assistance Administrator from 2005-2010 where I increased compensation and pension benefit dollars to Clarke County Veterans from $854,000.00 to $2,009,000.00. I implemented the VA van, with the help of many volunteers, provided rides to the VA Medical center. I have been the Clarke County Recorder from 2011-present.

I cannot imagine working anywhere else. This place is my second home and I am surrounded everyday by my second family. I have been blessed to work for Clarke County’s residents and hope to continue that with your support in the November 8th election.

Selena Humphrey

Background – tell me about yourself.

My name is Selena Humphrey. I live in Osceola with my husband Eric and son Dwight.

I was raised in Osceola and graduated from Clarke Community High School in 1991. After high school I served seven years active duty as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army. I was stationed primarily in Europe and achieved the rank of Sergeant.

After many commendations and an honorable discharge, I attended college to study business administration and obtained a bachelor’s degree and a gerontology degree.

I have over 20 years of management experience as a licensed long-term care administrator in charge of nursing homes. Over the last several years I have served as a Veteran’s Affairs Commissioner in Clarke County. I am currently employed as the Veteran’s Affairs Director and General Assistance for Clarke County.

In addition to my work as a veteran serving veterans, my family and I are members of a local church. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family.

Why are you running for this position? If currently in this position, how long have you been in it, and can you give a brief overview of your time in office?

I am running for Clarke County Recorder to give the residents of Clarke County a choice. The incumbent has served several cycles with no alternative candidates. This is what sets our democracy apart is allowing people to have a voice.

What are your goals as recorder?

As the Clarke County Recorder my goals is to make certain each and every customer is treated with courtesy and respect. To provide the public with accurate records that is easily accessible and made available using affordable technology. To be protective of the fiduciary responsibility as guardian of public records and to do my best to provide quality copies of recorded documents and vital records when requested.

Another goal is to unify the team through a common vision.

What makes you the best candidate for the job? If currently in this position, why should you continue?

I feel like my business and people skills will make me successful as the Clarke County Recorder. I get satisfaction in helping others in the roles I have served and putting, principles and others first has always been my goal in any position I have held.

I am running for Clarke County Recorder to broaden my horizons and to support the Republican Party. Regulations and documentation are second nature to me.

Anything else you would like to add?

While I understand that some may consider competing against an incumbent to be a “fool’s errand.” I am thrilled with the opportunity to compete for your vote and I strongly believe that the voters should have options in every election cycle. If given the chance, I want nothing more than to continue my service to the citizens of Clarke County.

Thank you for your consideration and God Bless!

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.