Crystal Clemens, left, and county clerk Stacia Long show off the shirts to promote the use of voter ID recently. Courtesy photos
By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times
Crystal Clemens began working for Seward County in June 2001, and after about 13 years, the longtime employee will leave Kansas for Texas.
After some time handling accounts payable for the county, Clemens next went to work in the elections division of the county clerk’s office, where she has been since.
In her years serving as elections deputy alongside county clerk Stacia Long, Clemens has seen many highlights along the way. In 2009, a school board race between Nick Hatcher and Cliff Abbott came down to a coin toss, with Hatcher taking the seat.
In 2008, many of the county’s offices, including that of the clerk, were moved from the Seward County Courthouse into the new Seward County Administration Building.
In 2011, Long and Clemens testified in Topeka for the installation of new voter ID laws in Kansas.
Clemens, however, said her biggest highlight was completing the program to become a certified elections registration administrator.
“I learned so much from my peers across the nation,” she said.
Clemens is now headed for Amarillo, Texas, where her husband was transferred with his job, and the soon-to-be former elections deputy said she is not sure what is next for her career wise.
Clemens was also recently elected to serve on the USD No. 480 Board of Education, and she is leaving just two months after local voters passed a bond to upgrade and build schools in the district.
She said she is sad that she will not be able to see progress in both USD 480 and the City of Liberal.
“Liberal, USD 480 and the county are heading in a great direction,” she said.
Long said Clemens’s transfer to Amarillo is a huge loss, not just for the county clerk’s office, but for Seward County and the state of Kansas as well.
“She has worked with me for 13 years, and I have grown to depend on her a great deal,” Long said. “Very early on, Crystal showed a passion for the election process, and I believe it is very apparent that our processes here in Seward County have grown light years from where we were even 10 years ago because of her forward thinking.”
Long added Clemens’s knowledge and expertise will surely be missed. She said Clemens has proven to be a leader in the field of elections and is often called on by colleagues from across the state to give advice and direction.
“Crystal has served on numerous committees and boards in the Kansas County Clerks and Election Officials Association and has contributed greatly to the election process for the entire state of Kansas,” Long said.
The county clerk concluded by saying Clemens’s loyalty to the clerk’s office is unsurpassed.
“I wish her and her family the very best in their new adventure,” Long said.