Brand new Minshew takes over clerk's job
By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on November 8, 2006 1:46 PM
Wayne County Clerk of Court candidate Randy Winders saw his hopes of winning slipping away early Tuesday night, so at about 7:45 p.m., he called and conceded the race to Pam Minshew.
"I knew I was winning," Democrat candidate Mrs. Minshew said, explaining that she had people at the polls calling her with results as each precinct closed down and workers packed up the machines. "But I didn't know I had completely won until he called.
"You try not to take anything for granted."
But by about 9 p.m., with a 2 to 1 victory in hand, the new clerk of court was nothing but smiles as she accepted hugs and congratulations from her red Minshew sweatshirt-clad friends and supporters on the second floor of The Steak Barn in Goldsboro.
Mrs. Minshew, who has worked in the clerk of court office for 25 years, won handily with 68 percent of the vote -- 13,534. Winders pulled only 32 percent -- 6,404.
"I've already called Pam and conceded the race. I know it's a little early, but that's just the way it's looking tonight," Republican candidate Winders said about 8 p.m. Tuesday. "I told her we ran a good, clean campaign."
He said he knew he wasn't likely to win once his supporters started calling him with results from his home precincts in the Fremont, New Hope and Pikeville areas. Mrs. Minshew won in all 30 precincts.
Winders said he was surprised at the 7,000 votes that separated the candidates.
"I thought it'd be closer. I really didn't think it'd be that big of a gap," Winders said.
It was both candidates' first time running for political office. Previously, Winders had worked as a Winn-Dixie supermarket manager.
"We did everything we could do," he said. "I think her experience in the office really gave her the upper hand even though the current clerk of court didn't have any (when he was elected).
"But she is a fine lady. I think she'll do a good job."
The clerk of court office handles judicial decisions involving family estate, civil and criminal cases. Mrs. Minshew, who has worked in almost every section of the office, is currently the administrative assistant -- running operations in the absence of former Clerk of Court Marshall Minchew, who did not seek re-election.
Her victory pleased her soon-to-be employees.
"She was the best candidate because she's done the work there," jury duty clerk Karrie Minchew said. "She's perfect."
But Tuesday night, even though Mrs. Minshew knew she had to be at work today, her thoughts were not on the future. She just savored her win with her friends and family.
"We're having a ball," she said. "We are so happy. I told the girls (in the office) I might be a little late, but that'd I'd be there (today)."
She is scheduled to assume her new title on the first Monday in December.
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