Carolyn Henderson, member of the Calhoun County Board of Registrars, announced this month she’s running for County Revenue Commissioner. Current commissioner Karen Roper is just one of three county-level Democratic office-holders, along with county commissioners Rudy Abbott and Fred Wilson. Several Democrats elected in 2010, including Sheriff Larry Amerson, License Commissioner Barry Robertson, and Henderson’s husband, Eli, formerly a county commissioner and now circuit clerk, switched parties in recent years.
Henderson said she started seriously considering running for the office about two years ago, but wanted to make sure it was OK with her family, including four children, eight grandchildren and her husband.
“I make dinner two or three times a week for my family and on Sundays,” Henderson said on Friday. “I wanted to let them know that with campaigning, it’s not that I’m neglecting them, but there will be sometimes that I won’t be able to do that. My family is very important to me, and I wanted their blessing.”
Henderson said she wants to bring a more relaxed atmosphere to the revenue office and to the office’s employees.
“The revenue commissioner is just a supervisor,” Henderson said. “The employees can do their job, and I think we just need to allow them to do their jobs.”
Henderson said she hopes a more relaxed atmosphere will lead to better interaction with local residents.
“They’re the ones paying taxes, paying our salary,” Henderson said. “They should be treated with respect.”
Roper said Friday she plans to run again in 2014, and the two-term incumbent will campaign on experience and achievements accomplished during her tenure.
“I’ve been here for 35 years and I’ve worked every job from clerk on up to this office,” Roper said. “I hope to continue to serve the public that put me in this office.”
Roper said that during her two terms she oversaw an overhaul of the county’s online property tax maps, which included aerial photography of the county. During that time, the office also set up a system for customers to pay online.
“All of those records are public and available online,” Roper said. “That’s been a great help to a lot of different agencies.”
Both candidates said they expect to start campaigning after the new year, although they said they’ve let their parties know their intentions to run.
“Right now it’s just word of mouth,” Henderson said. “But I’m not keeping it a secret.”
Staff writer Brian Anderson: 256-235-3546. On Twitter @BAnderson_Star.