ROCKFORD — Margie Mullins, who had already said she would not seek a fourth term in office, announced Monday morning that she intends to resign as Winnebago County Clerk.
“This has been a very difficult decision for me, but for personal reasons I will be stepping down,” Mullins said in a letter to the county government, provided Monday morning. “Working for the county and being the county clerk has been very rewarding.”
Mullins’ last day is set for Jan. 31, 2018. Her term expires Dec. 3, 2018.
“Clerk Mullins has been professional, impartial, and deeply committed to serving our community,” said county board chairman Frank Haney. “Although she was not seeking re-election and a new clerk will be elected in November of 2018, I am sad to see her go early. She has been a good partner to me as chairman and to the county board. On behalf of a grateful board, county, and community, I wish Margie and her family the very best in the future.”
Four candidates have declared in the March 20 primary for Mullins’ seat. Haney is now tasked with naming a successor to see out the end of Mullins’ term before next year’s general election, though he is unlikely to appoint any of the candidates vying for the clerk’s post.
“As I stated in my campaign for chairman, regardless of party, I oppose (the) appointment of candidates to an office they are in the process of running for,” said Haney. “This is especially important in high profile races like county clerk, sheriff, states attorney and chairman. It is my goal to keep the appointment process separate from the upcoming election.”
The board will declare the clerk position vacant as of Jan. 31 at their Jan. 11 meeting. Haney will then make a recommendation to the board who will have final approval over the appointment.
“My focus (is) on filling the short-term vacancy with someone who is willing to serve until the elected clerk takes office after the November 2018 election,” said Haney.
Mullins has worked for the county for 36 years, the last 11 as clerk.
The appointment “will be based upon the applicant’s professional background, experience relative to the responsibilities of the position, ability to meet the time requirements of the position, and demonstrated willingness and ability to work with others,” the county said in a statement.
Applicants must reside in Winnebago County, be a registered voter and be a member of the outgoing clerk’s Democratic Party, per county guidelines. For more information visit winnebagocountyclerk.com. R.