ROCKFORD — Tiana McCall, one of 10 who applied to complete the term of the outgoing Margie Mullins, will become the first African-American to serve as Winnebago County Clerk.
McCall, a field rep for Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, will serve through Dec. 3, the end of Mullins’ term. Mullins announced in December her intention to resign the clerkship. Her final day in office is set for Jan. 31.
“I think Tiana is going to do a great job as county clerk ahead of the election,” said board chairman Frank Haney. “She has a multitude of leadership roles in her background, a Master’s degree (from Rockford University). She’s a great fit.”
McCall won’t be in the office for long, though. Three Republicans, Lori Gummow, Magdalena Luke and Nancy Edwardsen, and one Democrat, current Rock Valley College board member Paul Gorski, are bidding to fill the clerk’s seat. The Republican primary is set for March 20 and the winner of that contest will face off with Gorski in the November general election.
Haney said he was mindful of the upcoming election in making his recommendation to the county board, which approved McCall at Thursday night’s meeting.
“It was a rigorous process with a lot of good people to choose from. One thing I wanted to avoid was choosing some who’s already on the ballot,” he told The Times, Friday.
“The ballot is set and we have a chance to choose our next clerk in November’s election. So, I wanted to avoid having an incumbent in the position and allow our interim clerk to focus on the job, not a political campaign.”
Gorski had submitted his name for consideration of the interim post.
Mullins has worked for Winnebago County for 36 years, the last 11 of those as clerk. “Working for the county and being the county clerk has been very rewarding,” she said in December following her resignation announcement. R.