By BRADEN LAMMERS
CLARK COUNTY —
In a sweeping change in Clark County offices, the Republicans took the house.
The auditor’s office was one office in the trend, with Republican R. Monty Snelling, 58, winning with 17,481 votes, or 54.3 percent, over Democrat Janis Caldwell, 49, who claimed 14,696 votes, or 45.7 percent.
Snelling will replace Clark County Auditor Keith Groth, who is retiring at the end of the year. He will take control of a county office that has recently been hit with poor audit reports from the State Board of Accounts, which was also part of the reason Snelling said he decided to run.
“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, but we’ll keep every promise we made,” Snelling said after giving his acceptance speech.
He added that he would not have been able to win the office without the Democratic support he received.
“I want to thank my Democratic friends because we had a lot of Democratic support,” he said. “I’ve got so many Democrat friends that voted for me — that had to put me over the top.”
While Snelling did not say he was surprised by the result, like many Republicans Tuesday, he was surprised by the total numbers that were returned.
“I’m shocked that we won by as much as we did,” he said. “It’s time to make them wake up. Now we got to do what we said we were going to do.”
The first thing Snelling plans on doing when he takes over the auditor’s office is to conduct a top-to-bottom review.
“I want to have an audit done to make sure all of the books are straight as soon as possible,” he said.
He also plans to keep his promise to hire a Certified Public Accountant that has experience working with county budgets.
“I’ll make room for them in my own budget like I promised, without costing the taxpayers,” Snelling said of the CPA.
There are no plans to go into the auditor’s office and clean house, but Snelling said he did want to do a job study on the employees in the office make sure they were being used as efficiently as possible.
“We just have to run the office like we told the taxpayers we would and that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.
When asked if he believes he will be able to achieve his goals and also work with Democrats. Snelling assured he would.
“I think all of them feel the same way I do,” he said. “Once you go into a meeting you don’t worry about the party, you worry about the taxpayer.”
Multiple calls made to Caldwell’s home were not returned as of press time.