HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — It has been just around eight weeks since Avrey Anderson,19, found out he won the election to become Hays County’s next district clerk.
After his successful candidacy, Anderson faced some backlash for his age and lack of experience. His predecessor, Beverly Crumley, served as the Hays County district clerk for 12 years. She has been working in the district clerk’s office for a total of three decades. Crumley lost her reelection run by just over two percentage points or around 2,500 votes.
When KXAN interviewed Crumley and Anderson a few weeks back, both felt the letters next to their names had a great deal to do with the election results. Anderson ran as a Democrat and Crumley a Republican.
Though some have questioned whether Anderson is qualified for the position, he remains steadfast. He said he is doing everything he can to prepare before starting his role in the new year.
“I’m happy to serve my community,” Anderson said. “I’m happy to make it work and destroy any inefficiencies as best as I can.”
“I’ve been reading the manuals (and) I’ve been trying to get some training,” he said. “I’ve also been talking to the deputies (who) still work in the office to get their input, feedback and thought processes.”
A Texas district clerk is the overseer of all filed district court lawsuits. They keep track of lawsuits from filing to conclusion and help prepare case records for suits that appear in front of a judge. A district clerk is also the financial officer of the district court and the jury manager. Among other responsibilities, it manages the court’s registry, preserves historical records and invests funds that minors win in lawsuits.
Since election night, there have been six district clerk office employees who have resigned, Beverly Crumley, the former district clerk, said. That is one-third of the office’s 18 employees.
“For whatever reason, they didn’t feel, I guess, confident in staying, so they chose to seek employment elsewhere,” Crumley continued.
“Of course, there’s, you know, some anxiety of the unknown at this point, but they’re all very mature professional adults that will continue on to do the very important role that we have here in the district clerk’s office,” she continued. “Because at the end of the day, that’s what’s important – delivering the same good customer service and knowledge base to the legal community and the constituents of Hays County.”
“I know a few people are leaving, but it’s not the entire office,” Anderson said. Further, after meeting some of the deputies in the district clerk’s, Anderson said some of the fears of that they had were assuaged.
One of the current staff members who Anderson has not spoken to yet is Crumley.
“I do not plan to,” Crumley said.
“(It) still wasn’t the outcome I was hoping or wanting, but I respect the process of the election and respect the results,” she said.
Hays County Democratic Party
Anderson did not have any Democratic challengers for the district clerk primary.
Mark Trahan, the Chair of the Hays County Democratic Party, said he didn’t meet Anderson before he filed for the primary, but spoke with him on a couple of occasions before the general election.
“The Democratic Party supports all Democrats up and down the ballot,” Trahan said. “Do we support him for this election? Yes, he had a ‘D’ next to his name.”
“The voters made a choice based on what they believed was best, and we all know that these down-ballot races are probably the area where people are least likely to get the most information about candidates,” he continued.
Trahan, however, does not share the same doubts about Anderson’s ability to serve as the district clerk based on his age.
“I think what you need to know about Avrey is he’s incredibly humble,” he said. “He is 19 years of age. He is committed, and he’s ready to learn. I’ve had a chance to talk with him about his vision, and he is excited and invested.”