GOP candidates for Nacogdoches County Clerk ready to make transition to digital records

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The race for Nacogdoches County Clerk is creating a bit of history for one of the oldest counties in the state.

The current keeper of the records in Nacogdoches County is Carol Wilson. She'll soon retire

"Yes, I'm ready," Wilson said.

Wilson's photograph will eventually hang with pictures of two longstanding county clerks. Wilson will have the notoriety of serving the longest - a quarter of a century.

What's believed to be another milestone is the fact that for the first time in at least 100 years there's a contested race for Nacogdoches County Clerk. It's between Republicans June Clifton and Dona Bass. No Democrats are seeking the spot.

Both women work for Nacogdoches County. Dona Bass has been a deputy clerk for almost 10 years.

"I have a working knowledge of that office." Bass said. "I know the general layout of all the computers, the software, the money situation."

June Clifton is court coordinator for the County Court-at-law, where she's worked for about 20 years. The former deputy clerk says she is very familiar with the duties of county clerk.

"Everything that is filed in the clerk's office comes across my desk at some point, so I'm very familiar with all the cases and all the different types of things that are handled in the county clerk's office," Clifton said.

The next county clerk will be responsible to abide by a new state law which requires all electronic filing by July of 2015.

"I deal with this every day," Clifton said. "And we've already started going digital with our criminal files. We don't pull a paper file anymore."

Many of the clerk records have gone digital. Bass says she knows the importance of completing the process.

"It has to be. It has to be because this is basically going to be here for history," Bass said. "We have records back to the 1800's that they've maintained very well. It is a checks and balances type of office."

Both women say they're all about good customer service.

"And just being courteous. I don't want anyone to stand in line and wait for someone to come to the counter and wait on them," Clifton said. "I don't want a phone  to ring and ring and nobody answer it. That's a huge issue with me."

"I really want people to feel comfortable when they come in our office and feel like they can be taken care of and have a knowledgeable person there that can handle their situation," Bass said.

One of the two women will know March 4 if they'll fall in line with just a few others who were once the keeper of the records for Nacogdoches County.

Both candidates encourage the use of early voting which ends on Feb. 28.

Copyright 2014 KTRE. All rights reserved.