Candidate 2018 profile: Denise DeLara

Denise DeLara

ELLIS COUNTY — Learn more about Denise DeLara in her own words as she runs for Ellis County Clerk in the 2018 Republican primary.

Election day voting will be held on March 6, 2018 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Click here for a list of election day polling locations. Early voting will take place February 20, 2018 through March 2, 2018. Click here for a list of early voting locations and times.

Click here to view and compare all County Clerk candidates' answers on one page.

Denise DeLara questionnaire responses

1) Age:

47

2) City of Residence:

Red Oak

3) Years Living in Ellis County:

18 years

4) Family:

I have been married to my husband Michael for 25 years. We have 3 daughters.

5) Education:

Graduated Duncanville High School and attended Mountain View Community College

6) Previous Public Office Experience:

I have served as the Ellis County Republican Party Chairman for 3 years.

I am the current State Republican Executive Committee Woman for Senate District 22.

7) Occupation:

I am the Office Manager in the Healthcare field.

8) Church and Civic Involvement:

We are members of Grace Church of Ovilla.

I have been a delegate to the County and State Convention since 2012

9) Please provide a biographical narrative.

I grew up in Duncanville and graduated from Duncanville High School. My dad was the Vocational Agriculture Teacher in Duncanville High School for over 20 years. My mom worked in the banking industry. In High School I was the FFA Secretary. After High School I attended Mountain View College. During that time I met my husband and we were married and we had three daughters, two who have graduated from Red Oak High School. I currently work in the healthcare industry and have an extensive 20-year background in office management, information technology, software training, staff supervision and employee training. I previously worked for Red Oak Independent School District at Shields Elementary as the Technology Specialist.

10) What motivated your interest in running for County Clerk in Ellis County?

After lots of thought and prayers I felt called to run for County Clerk. I believe that my experience will be an asset to the citizens of Ellis County. I also will to be an Elected Official that has been involved and will continue to be involved in the Republican Party of Ellis County.

11) Briefly and succinctly define the job responsibilities of the office you are seeking.

I like to say the County Clerk’s office documents you from the cradle to the grave. The County Clerk issues Marriage licenses, and records death records, certificates of release or discharge from active duty (DD 214), property deeds, deeds of trust, liens, right down to cattle brands. The County Clerk also serves as clerk for the court for all misdemeanor criminal and civil courts, as well as commissioners’ court and probate court; and maintains those records as well. As clerk of the county courts, the county clerk collects and is responsible for money paid in court costs, fines and fees and for the payment of juror fees.

12) What qualifications and professional experiences do you possess that are applicable to the position you are seeking requires? Be specific.

I am detail oriented with a financial background as well as technology and supervisory.

13) What qualifications do you possess that will enable you to manage a budget of over $1 million for the County Clerk’s office? Be specific.

In my current role I already manage an office with a comparable budget. I manage medical reimbursements, billing, and payroll.

14) How has your education and professional experience prepared you for this office?

In my current role I already manage an office with a comparable budget.

15) Have you declared bankruptcy or have had any liens placed upon you in the past 10 years? If so, please explain.

No

16) What distinguishes you from your opponent(s)?

I know one of the candidates has worked for the Clerk’s Office in a non-supervisory role as a receptionist and one of several Deputy Clerks. I am the only candidate that has the supervisory experience in the private sector and as an Elected official. As Chairman I was responsible for overseeing the Ellis County Republican Party and the Executive Committee. When I was appointed as the Chairman of the Republican Party it was in compete duress. Under my leadership the Party has flourished. I have rebuilt our credibility and relationships with our Elected Officials. The Party is in the best financial shape the it has been in for over 20 years. I am also the only candidate that has a proven commitment to the Republican Party.

17) Is there any additional training that you plan to seek to assist you in the duties of County Clerk?

Yes, I always avail myself of education and learning opportunities.

18) What is the appropriate budget size for the County Clerk’s office and why should the current budget be cut, remain the same or increased?

I have reviewed the recent budgets and noted the only increases in the last several budget cycles has been the 3% cost of living pay raises.

19) What are the three greatest challenges facing Ellis County related to the position you are seeking? If elected, what measures would you propose to resolve them?

Adapting to new technology and handling new growth, and keeping excellent customer service. I believe that technology is the key to handle the new growth. I have had conversations with the Commissioners about the current software that is used. I know they are discussing several options and I will be able to facilitate any new changes that will be implemented.

Right now, the current system that is used does not communicate with other departments. To become more efficient, we need a system that communicates but also to be mindful of taxpayer money.

I know that right now the Courts are the only office using e-file we have the means to implement e-file now to service the title companies

20) If elected, what are your top three priorities? How will you work with other elected officials and county staff to achieve them? Be specific.

Accessibility of records, Excellent Customer Service, and efficiency.

I know that right now the Courts are the only office using e-file we have the means to implement e-file now to service title companies. I will make that a priority as well.

As the Elected Count Chair, I have already established relationships with the other Elected Officials in Ellis County. I will continue to build those relationships to make the Clerk’s Office efficient and integrate with other offices.

21) Government transparency has been an issue at all levels of politics for the past few years. Do you feel that the county is transparent enough? If not, what needs to change?

The County Clerk’s Office holds public records and those records should be readily available there by ensuring transparency.

22) Minutes from Commissioners’ Court meetings are often slow to be written, presented to the Commissioners’ Court for approval and published on the county website. Do you believe this is an issue? If so, what do you plan to do to resolve the issue?

Yes, in my current role in the healthcare field deadlines are critical to patient care. I will bring that efficiency to the Clerk’s Office for the citizens of Ellis County.

23) In your opinion, what are the most important qualities that a County Clerk needs to have?

As the Elected Official I believe since you are interacting with the public on a daily basis you need to have an outgoing personality. You also need to have supervisory experience, great customer service experience, organizational skills, detail oriented, multi task oriented and can excel under pressure.

24) How can the office of County Clerk best serve the citizens of the county?

With the advancement of technology and software updates/changes to have records more readily available online. I will also have on open door policy and I will be readily available.

25) If elected, how would you reach out and form relationships with residents of Ellis County and how would you reach out to those residents in the outlying areas of the county?

I would like to expand e-filing so that not only he courts could utilize this system so could title companies. We would also have records accessible online so that individuals could search online not have to drive to downtown. I would also like to expand our online presence for citizens to contact our office.

26) If elected, what are the factors on which you will base your decisions as County Clerk?

My decisions will be based on core Republican values and seeking to minimize the cost of government while provided efficient and excellent customer service to the citizens of Ellis County.

27) Why should voters choose you?

I am the only candidate who has demonstrated involvement in the Republican Party on a local and state level for ten years long before I decided to run for office. I have the supervisory experience to lead the Clerk’s office into the future. I also have the technology background to advance the efficiency and accessibility to the office. Have the personal skills to elevate the Customer Service aspect as well. I will encourage and motivate my staff and I will be a hands on County Clerk. I will readily available to the Citizens, Elected Officials and all other departments in Ellis County.

We need elected officials who decide to run on the Republican ticket that they have a proven commitment to Republican values and who demonstrate that on a daily basis.