GREENFIELD — With Marcia Moore leaving the Hancock County Clerk’s Office because of term limitations, the Republican primary is a wide-open race with three candidates seeking the party’s nomination.
Lisa Eberhardt Lofgreen, Mark Lozier and Miriam Rolles have announced their intention to run for the clerk’s office, each hoping to put their own unique stamp on the office that files the paperwork for just about everything in Hancock County and oversees the county’s election office.
All are relatively new to politics, with Lozier coming from the world of insurance, Lofgreen working as a legal assistant at a law firm and Rolles running her own business.
With a lack of political experience, each is relying on their background and experience in the private sector to help get them the GOP nod May 8.
Rolles has spent the past 30 years in clerk’s offices all across Indiana doing research as part of her job as an abstractor. In her line of work, Rolles and the rest of her team at her company, The Abstract Shack, research old records to verify land ownership, parcel size and a number of other areas involving the sale of personal property. During those years, she has familiarized herself with what the county clerk’s office does and what some of the best practices are to ensure the best possible experience for residents, she said.
Because of her background, Rolles said she believes she is well-suited for the administrative side of the job and has experience handling a staff thanks to her business, where she employs seven people.
As a recent empty-nester, Rolles said she is ready to have a job outside of her home and thinks the opening at the clerk’s office fits her skill set.
“I’m ready to serve this community, and I think this office is the best opportunity for me to do that,” Rolles said. “I want to give back.”
Should she win the primary and subsequent general election, Rolles said she has three areas where she’d first focus her attention: team-building for the office employees, enhancing cyber security and ensuring good customer service.
Lozier’s only political foray came back in 2016 when he ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Hancock County Council. This time around, he’s running for clerk and hoping his experience running an insurance claims business will sway voters in his favor, he said.
For years, Lozier was part owner of NCA Group, a catastrophe claims business. He left the company and retired in 2006. The recent hurricane devastation in Florida spurred him to return to the field, and he spent 95 days there assisting victims with insurance claims. He said the experience recharged him and energized him to serve his hometown community.
He touts his business background — managing a large group of employees, dealing with budgets and overseeing legal paperwork on a daily basis — and takes responsibility for some mishaps he’s had along the way.
Lozier was a part-owner of Soup Herb, a downtown soup and sandwich shop that went out of business amid financial troubles. He said having to close the restaurant was a difficult experience, but it taught him important lessons that he’ll take with him to the clerk’s office.
At the time, saving the beloved local eatery felt like a community service, Lozier said; an adventure — but a gamble.
“If you don’t take risks, you don’t make any impact in this world,” he said. “When you take risks … you’re going to have some failures. But when you get those failures, you’re going to learn from them.”
Lozier will take the lessons he’s learned in the business world with him to the clerk’s office, ensuring the office is running as efficiently as possible, he said.
“As a Republican and a conservative, I want to make sure the taxpayers of Hancock County are having their money used in the best way possible,” Lozier said.
Lozier said he also wants to examine the county’s voting centers and determine if the county needs more locations. With the 2020 election looming as a potentially historic one, Lozier said more voting centers could be helpful to alleviate any high turnout.
Lisa Eberhardt Lofgreen
Lofgreen works as a legal assistant for Pritzke & Davis Law, where she’s been employed for 25 years. She said she was intrigued by the idea of running for clerk because of the office’s daily work with the court system.
“I have a passion for the court side of the office,” Lofgreen said. “I’m very interested in the legal process, and I have the experience there. I’ve talked about running for this position for years, and it just worked out for it to be this year.”
As the legal assistant, Lofgreen’s job includes the processing all of the legal documents that come through the law office. Those tasks have taught her attention to detail that she said would serve her well in the office.
She said she thinks the current clerk has done well but said she wants to bring a fresh perspective to the office with her background. She said because she sees things through an attorney’s eyes, she thinks there are ways to increase the efficiency of the office in the interest of judicial economy, especially given the way court procedures and schedules can change at the last minute.
“It might just be as simple as making sure we pick up the phone and let them know something has changed,” she said.
Where they stand: