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Fellsmere’s Fran Adams seeks to replace elections chief Kay Clem

FELLSMERE — The race to replace out-going Indian River County Supervisor of Elections Kay Clem has expanded to include former County Commissioner and restaurateur Fran Adams, of Fellsmere.

Adams joins four others who have applied for an appointment from Gov. Charlie Crist, which could come before the end of the year. If not, Gov.-elect Rick Scott could make the appointment after he assumes the office in January. Adams, 61, boasts experience helping the Supervisor of Elections Office by serving on multiple canvassing boards, including the 2000 presidential canvassing board, and was a member of the 2001 Redistricting Committee.

Adams said Tuesday that the biggest challenges facing the Supervisor of Elections Office in the coming two years will be redistricting and handling a presidential election – both of which she feels qualified to handle.

If appointed to fill out the 2-year remainder of Clem’s 4-year term, Adams said she would bring stability to the office and would not anticipate making any sweeping changes.

“I can’t say there’s anything I’d do better than Kay,” Adams said, adding that she has the highest respect for both Clem and the office.

Along with believing that she could perform the work needed, Adams said that she decided to apply because she is looking for new endeavors.

“I look for a fresh challenge,” Adams said, noting that her restaurant, Marsh Landing, is “in good hands” with her daughter, Susan Adams, who is mayor of Fellsmere.

“I’m one of those high energy folks,” Adams said, adding that there is “no mountain too big you can’t get over.”

Adams said that if she were appointed to the elections chief post, she would continue to work on increasing voter turnout.

“Kay did a very good job getting the voters to come out,” Adams said, explaining that early voting and absentee ballots made voting that much easier for residents. “It takes a great effort to make that happen.”

Along with Adams vying for the supervisor’s post are Assistant Supervisor of Elections Leslie Swan, who Clem has recommended to succeed her, Legislative Aide to Rep. Debbie Mayfield Sandi Harpring, former Supervisor of Elections candidate Cathy Hart, and former Deputy Property Appraiser and former School Board member Charles Searcy.

Gov. Crist’s press office has said that they would prefer to have a candidate pool of eight to 10 from which to select.

Applications will continue to be accepted until the governor makes an appointment, according to Press Secretary Sterling Ivey.

The application can be found at the following link from the Governor’s website:

Applicants are encouraged to print the questionnaire, fill it out and mail back to:

Governor’s Appointments OfficeThe Capitol Building, 7th Floor, Suite 705Tallahassee FL 32399-0001

Those with questions about the requirements or the application can call (850) 488-2183.

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