The November ballot for Clay County auditor doesn’t look much different than it did in August: Ernzen vs. McCaslin.
But it’s a different McCaslin this time.
In the Democratic primary Aug. 5, incumbent Sheila Ernzen defeated Dale McCaslin. Now Ernzen is opposed by McCaslin’s wife, Carol, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary.
Neither Carol McCaslin nor Ernzen are immune to the tribulations that have plagued Clay County government in recent years.
Ernzen, who was appointed to the auditor’s post by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, has been vocal in her disagreements with the County Commission. In particular she has had conflict with Presiding Commissioner Pam Mason, who lost her primary election this year.
Carol McCaslin is a former county commissioner and treasurer, winning election as a Democrat. She also worked in the county assessor’s office.
Ernzen maintains she is facing a McCaslin yet again because the couple is upset with her for publicly discussing Dale McCaslin’s commission-approved appointment as assistant director of the county airport. Dale McCaslin held the position briefly in 2013 before stepping down.
Carol McCaslin, who was the only county office candidate absent from a recent Clay County Economic Development Council forum, could not be reached for comment. The Star was also unable to reach her husband during the primary election.
Ernzen has expressed concern about how the county has been doing business and said transparency is her top priority. She said there is very little of it right now in Clay County government.
“Decisions should be made for the good of the citizens of our county, not according to personal agendas,” she said. “A public office is a public trust.”
Occupation: Clay County auditor
Education: Bachelor's in accounting, University of Missouri-Kansas City; licensed CPA
Previous public experience: Clay County auditor, 2011-present and 2009-10; Clay County treasurer, 2003-08
Website: Facebook: Sheila Ernzen, CPA - Clay County Auditor
Previous public experience: Clay County treasurer; Clay County commissioner