The 75-year-old Democrat, who was appointed to the position in 1983 by a party caucus after then-Clerk Charles Westerman was convicted of stealing $670 in parking-ticket receipts, had talked about retirement four years ago but ultimately decided otherwise. Now, however, she hopes Chief Deputy Angie Davis will seek the office.
“I like the job and I like the people, and I'm not ready for the rocking chair,” Kennedy said. “I've always worried about what I would do after leaving office. I'd like to volunteer for Cancer Services (of Northeast Indiana).” Her daughter, Patricia, died of the disease in 2003.
Kennedy said one of her chief accomplishments has been to improve the office's use of technology. “We didn't even have a computer when I came in. Everything was done manually,” she noted.
But the office's technological capability – or lack of it – was an issue in 2003 when Republican John McGauley challenged Kennedy but received just 41 percent of the vote. The 45-year-old McGauley, who now serves as county Recorder but cannot seek a third term, said he is “very likely” to seek the clerk's office next year.
“The two jobs are pretty comparable, and the things I find appealing about the recorder's job I also find appealing about the clerk's job: They both can make citizens' interaction with government easier and less costly," he said.
Kennedy started in city government in 1980 when she was appointed to the Board of Public Works by then-Mayor Win Moses. She was so politically formidable that no one from either party challenged her in 2007 – and county Republican Chairman Steve Shine even appeared at one of her campaign events.