The Norman Transcript

October 31, 2012

Court Clerk faces challenger

By Joy Hampton
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — As one of the last remaining Democrats holding office in Cleveland County, Rhonda Hall has held the position of court clerk since 1996. Her lone challenger this election is Republican Mitchell Slemp.

While Hall has years of experience in the Cleveland County court clerk’s office, having started work as a file clerk in 1981, Slemp has worked for Mid-America Technology Center since 1974 and has served as a business liaison. Both are involved in the community.

The court clerk is an elected Constitutional officer with a four-year term entrusted with the duty of recording and preserving the state records of the District Courts of Cleveland County’s judicial district. The court clerk has the primary responsibility to record, file, and maintain permanent records of the proceedings of the District Court as well as to collect fees and distribute the collected fees to the appropriate agencies as provided by the law.

Filing fees and other court costs collected by the court clerk are put into the Court Fund to operate the District Courts which helps to finance the court clerk’s office, through the fees collected from court costs, fines and bond forfeitures. All of the court clerk’s records are now on computer.

· Democrat Rhonda Hall

Incumbent Rhonda Hall started working in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s office as a file clerk in October 1981, and became supervisor of the criminal division in 1990. In 1996 she was elected Cleveland County Court Clerk and was re-elected in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

Hall has received her Court Clerk’s Certification from the Center for Local Government Technology through Oklahoma State University. She is a member of the Oklahoma State Court Clerk’s Association where she has served on the Legislative Committee and served as Vice President. In 2004 Hall served as the President of the Oklahoma Court Clerk’s Association. She is also a member of the Oklahoma County Clerk’s and Deputies Association, Cleveland County Budget Board and member of the Cleveland County Court Fund Board. She has also served on several other committees concerning the statewide Court Clerk’s computer system.

Hall participates in the United Way, March of Dimes, Cleveland County 4-H and supports the area FFA booster clubs. She is a member of the Cleveland County Cattlemen’s Association and serves on the board of the Salvation Army.

Hall’s roots run deep in Cleveland County. She is married to Neal Hall, they have one son, Chris. All are graduates of Moore High School. Both Rhonda’s and Neal’s families have lived in Cleveland County for many years, she is a fifth generation citizen of Cleveland County.

In 2009 under Hall’s leadership Cleveland County was designated credit card acceptance pilot court. Hall has accepted appointment by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to serve on the IT Criminal Committee, the IT Vendor Selection Committee, the IT Court Fund Vendor Selection Committee, the IT Jury System Vendor Committee and other subcommittees in connection with this historic project. She has attended a number of sessions, sharing her expertise to create a “top five in the nation” statewide court case management system.

· Republican Mitchell Slemp

Mitchell Slemp began work for Mid-America Technology Center in 1974, where he initially served as a machine shop instructor and later as a liaison to the business community, helping to create training programs. Slemp said he hopes to serve as court clerk not just for the strictly regulated office duties, but also for the clerk’s role on the county budget board.

“I want to be sure that we utilize that money to be a good steward of that money,” Slemp said.

Slemp and his wife Leona, both fourth generation Oklahomans, were born and raised in South Oklahoma City. They have three children and nine grandchildren. Son Scott Slemp and his children live in Moore. Daughter Lori and her husband Jason Blair and their children live in Moore. Son Kevin Slemp and his wife Megan and their children live in Edmond. They have been faithful members of First Baptist Church Moore for over 27 years. Slemp has taught Sunday school for years, and has served in many other capacities. Slemp is a staunch conservative who is devoted to his faith, his family, and his community.

Slemp has a double major bachelor’s in Math and Chemistry and graduated Cum Laude with a Master’s in Education. He has been employed by Mid-America Technology Center for the last 38 years. He is SkillsUSA National Technical Committee Chairman for Job Interview and served as Parliamentarian for the Oklahoma Trade and Industrial Education Association.

Slemp was selected as Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the Oklahoma Trade and Industrial Education Association and has served on the Cleveland County Workforce Development Council.


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