[FM notes: following is the verbatim statement released by Macomb County Clerk Register of Deeds Carmella Sabaugh on April 22, 2016]
Today, I have formally withdrawn my candidacy for re-election to the office of Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds. I will honor my oath of office and serve out the rest of my term.
The decision to retire from the job I love was heartfelt and extremely difficult for me. After 23 years, I am still passionate about going to work and serving the people of Macomb County. When I filed for re-election this year, I had every intention of running. While my health is good, and I still feel energetic and able to do my job, I am 77 years old. I discussed with my family how much I will enjoy spending my retirement with my children and grandchildren.
The process has not been ideal, but this is Macomb County politics after all! I came to office in 1993 as a result of bold action. I commend the bold action taken by those who recently filed to run for clerk / register of deeds.
I am so grateful for the trust and confidence the voters of Macomb County have had in me over my six terms of office as County Clerk and my entire career in public office. I feel good knowing the many improvements our union employee team and I have made at the clerk’s office. I fought hard to improve the efficiency, accessibility and performance of the entire office.
I am proud of our record of innovation, earning 59 National Association of Counties awards for good government, and using technology to provide better, faster, and more convenient service to the residents of Macomb County. My team’s record includes customer evening hours, online campaign finance disclosure, competitively bidding election supplies, overnight delivery, free transportation for jurors plus other jury room innovations, real estate fraud prevention such as the register of deeds “super index,” kiosks, bringing Google technology to county government, veterans photo ID cards, online absentee ballot tracking, holding county clerk office hours inside Secretary of State offices, virtual queuing, credit card and electronic payment acceptance, wireless Internet, and much more.
The customer service my union staff provides is outstanding! The Macomb County Clerk / Register of Deeds Office is a model for the state in several areas. At the end of the year, I will be leaving the office in great shape, for the person the voters ultimately pick.
I am making an endorsement because it is very important to me to do everything I can to make sure this office continues in the same innovative way to serve the people of Macomb County, as we have done so well for the last 23 years.
I am endorsing a Democrat for clerk / register of deeds because party affiliation matters. Anyone who claims party labels do not matter ignores history. Democrats passed the Voting Rights Act and the Motor Voter law. Democratic county clerks fight for voting rights. Republicans fight against no reason absentee voting, online voter registration, straight-ticket voting and other common sense voting rights reforms.
At this time there are two qualified Democrats for clerk / register of deeds. I thought hard about which candidate would be best suited to recommend to carry on the work I have done. Fred Miller is the best and strongest person to keep the office moving forward.
Some officials silently accept big raises, but Fred Miller spoke out and voted against pay raises given to elected officials that exclude union members. Some officials silently accept weak ethics policies, but Fred Miller was the chief architect of Macomb County’s bold ethics policy, which outlaws nepotism, corruption and graft.
Over many years, I worked closely with Fred Miller at the state and county levels on clerk / register of deeds issues, and when I was a candidate for Michigan Secretary of State. Fred Miller testified with me to pass the mortgage redemption law that lets my register of deeds office help homeowners save their homes from foreclosure. Fred Miller was with me when we launched our online concealed pistol license application system, protecting Second Amendment rights.
Fred Miller’s positions on protecting voting rights, protecting private property rights and consumer protection issues are the same as mine. Fred Miller has a strong pro labor record and respects the collective bargaining process used by my employees. These reasons, and the reputation Fred Miller earned as a county commissioner and former state representative, make him my obvious recommendation to succeed me.
I will never forget the honor it has been to serve the people of Macomb County for six terms over the last 23 years. When I first ran for Warren City Council in 1975, I was a young mother of five who just wanted to make a positive difference in my community. I could never have imagined the challenges we have overcome and accomplishments we have made. I could not have done this without the public, my supporters and our many outstanding public employees.
I thank my union staff for their great service to Macomb County residents. I thank the voters for giving me the wonderful opportunity to serve!
To join Carmella and endorse Fred click here today.
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