After running for two public offices and swearing she would never go for it again, Denton resident Amy Manuel is running for Denton county clerk. She said she’s the first Democrat to run for the position in 30 years. The county clerk is responsible for issuing licenses, maintaining county statistics and registering voters.
Manuel initially entered politics in the early 2000s when Texas began to pass more Republican policies, which included de-regulating college tuition and instituting the Woman’s Right to Know act, which she said requires doctors to give patients seeking abortions medically inaccurate information about the procedure.
“That was the point I realized that I could no longer just vote, that voting wasn’t going to be enough, that I had to get active,” she said.
Then living in The Colony, Manuel became active with the Denton County Democratic Party, running for the county commissioner’s office in 2006 and losing. She would later move to Denton and run for city council, coming in third place in a five-way race. She said she gave up on running personally at that point, citing the high cost of running a campaign and the low chances of success. However, with the county Democrats trying to fill the ballot, she said she was convinced to run for a position she was passionate about: county clerk.
Manuel said she has felt strongly about the position since 2015, when current clerk Juli Luke initially did not sign marriage certificates for gay couples after the Supreme Court ruled for marriage equality and said it conflicted with her personal beliefs when she eventually did begin to sign them.
“There’s two things that I do not tolerate: bigotry and bullying. And I have no patience for people who want to use their religion as an excuse to be bigots, and that is what I felt was going on,” she said. “County clerk is a bookkeeping, file–keeping job, so for you to inject your religion into that is just ridiculous.”
Manuel also brings qualifications to the table, having spent 12 years as a professional database analyst.
The position will be on the ballot in the November 2018 general election.