THE ISSUE: Supervisor of Elections race.
OUR OPINION: Shirley Anderson's no nonsense approach needed at elections office.
The race for Hernando County Supervisor of Elections features two strong-willed women who each are more than qualified to be the next supervisor of elections.
Shirley Anderson, 54, a Republican, is a district director for U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent. She has held the job for seven years and was hired by Nugent's predecessor, Ginny Brown-Waite.
This is Anderson's second attempt at the office after losing her initial bid in 2008 to Annie Williams.
Elizabeth Townsend, 39, a Democrat, has been with the elections office since 2004 and the director of operations since December 2010.
Townsend touts her extensive experience with the elections office as one of the main reasons she should be the next supervisor of elections.
Over the past eight years Townsend has administered 12 federal elections, two special elections and the county's first all-mail ballot election.
Townsend also recently implemented a redistricting plan that combined several polling sites and saved the county more than $33,000, which is to be commended.
Townsend certainly has an edge in on the job experience over her opponent; however the office has dealt with a number of high profile gaffs during the last several years, the most recent being when Williams told a school board candidate in the primary the wrong election date.
While Townsend is a likable candidate who is knowledgeable about the elections office, it is a challenge to separate her from perceived errors committed at the elections office over the last several years.
Anderson could breathe some new life into an office that hasn't seen much change at the top in the last several years.
Anderson has taken the time to examine other supervisor of elections offices in neighboring counties and learn about what it takes to run a top-notch elections office.
Anderson plans to keep the public better informed with announcements in the newspaper and the use of e-newsletters. She also plans to upgrade the office's website to aid in communication with the public.
Hernando Today recommends voters cast their ballots for Shirley Anderson as Hernando County Supervisor of Elections.