Circuit clerk candidates share experience, goals before runoff

Circuit clerk candidates share experience, goals before runoff

FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - The Forrest County Circuit Clerk race is headed to a runoff.

Current deputy circuit clerk Gwen Wilks faces Sherri Oswalt Reid in the Republican runoff on Tuesday, August 25.

Reid currently works at Petal Family Dentistry, and she worked in the Forrest County chancery and circuit courts in the early 90s.

Wilks has worked in the Forrest County Circuit Court for nearly 21 years.

"It's going to take someone with experience," Wilks said of the circuit clerk's office, which is undergoing changes with a new judgeship and same sex marriage licenses. "I know the day in and day out of this job."

Reid said her familiarity with the courts and the county qualifies her for the office.

"I just feel like I'm a very personable person, and the office needs someone that's organized and friendly, and I feel like I meet those qualifications."

Reid said she worked longer in the chancery court than the circuit court, and she "sat at the county court desk and youth court" during her time in the circuit court.

Wilks said she has spent "thousands of hours" in the courtroom for the circuit court and is well-versed on filing paperwork and lawsuits specific to the court.

Both candidates want to see updates to the technology of the circuit court, including filing systems.

Reid said with the changes of the same-sex marriage ruling and the new judgeship, changes will have to be made, and Wilks wants to move the office to an online system for payments and copies of court documents accessed from home.

Wilks is originally from Runnelstown in Perry County and is a graduate of Petal High School. She is married to Trevor Wilks, and they have three children and three grandchildren.

Reid is from Petal and also graduated from Petal High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Judson College in Marion, Alabama. Sherri is married to Lance Reid, and they have two sons.