Erica Cipko Wade is the third person to announce that she plans to seek the Patrick County Circuit Court Clerk’s position in the November election.
The post is currently held by Sherri Hazlewood, who is embroiled in several legal issues.
Morgan Boothe was appointed by the court to run the office in Hazlewood’s absence. Boothe has said she will seek the post. Nancy Belcher also is among the field of three candidates.
Wade, 32, is a legal professional who has been serving Patrick County and surrounding jurisdictions for more than 12 years.
Working for more than 12 years for attorney Christopher Corbett and Schneider & Williams, PC, Wade said she has developed a deep understanding of the responsibilities and workload of the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office. As a paralegal in Patrick County, she has had the opportunity to work with the clerk’s offices in all surrounding Circuit Court, General District Court, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts.
“I know what works in serving the public, the judges, and the law enforcement community, and I know what doesn’t work,” Wade said in a release. “We need to clean up the present situation in our Clerk’s Office, and get back to service and responsibility being the top priorities.”
Wade said she is the only candidate who has served the people of Patrick and surrounding counties for many years in every aspect of what occurs daily at the Clerk’s Office.
Having a background in all aspects of filings, recording, and research at the Clerk’s Office through civil, criminal, real estate, and probate matters is something that not all candidates in this election possess, she said.
“None of the other candidates have an appreciation of first, the exemplary way Susan Gasperini served our Office for many years, and second, how other Clerk’s Offices have moved their systems and practices into the twenty-first century,” Wade said.
Additionally, “I am an advocate for essential reforms that will truly benefit the Patrick County Clerk’s Office, and most importantly the people it serves,” she said.
She added that “consistent, honest, hard-working, and professional leaders, like myself, can make this world a better place. Knowing that Patrick County will always be my home, and having the core values of integrity and public service, I began my civic journey in serving the citizens of Patrick County from my early years, and I have no end in sight.”
She recalled “when my legal experience began, I realized just how important the Clerk of Court was and is, and how an efficient and professional Clerk’s Office benefits our community. Over the past few years, productivity and standards have fallen in our current Clerk’s Office. If elected, I plan to establish a set of checks and balances that eliminate extended delays in Orders and filings, in addition to providing new and updated services for those utilizing the Clerk’s Office.”
As a graduate of Patrick County High School and Longwood University, Wade said she has proven she can choose a course of study and persevere to its successful conclusion.
“It is important for Patrick County and its citizens to have the right person in positions of our county’s government. I know this because many citizens have voiced this to me. Re-establishing a Clerk’s Office that holds itself to a standard that matches the integrity, sobriety, and honest hard work our citizens deserve is my main goal, and one that I have achieved throughout my professional career,” she said. “Serving this County as Clerk of Court has been a dream of mine since returning home from college, and I look forward to the opportunity to meet voters and citizens throughout this campaign to seek your support.”
Wade is a former Director of the Patrick County Chamber of Commerce Board; former President, charter member, and current member of the Patrick County Young Professionals; she also was a previous Secretary for the Patrick County Fire & Rescue Association, an EMT with Ararat Volunteer Rescue Squad; and an EMT/Firefighter and EMT Instructor with Stuart Volunteer Fire Department. She currently serves as a member of Stuart Town Council, in addition to numerous volunteer opportunities with the nonprofit One Family Productions.
A lifelong resident of Patrick County, Wade lives in Stuart with husband Robbie Wade, a DMV special agent. The two are members of Abundant Life Fellowship Church in Collinsville.