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Clerk staffer Cori Freidhof appointed interim leader

Nye County Clerk Mark Kampf’s time in office officially comes to a close on March 31 and deputy clerk Cori Freidhof has now been selected to assume that vacated seat. Freidhof will take over the office as of Monday, April 1 and fulfill the unexpired term ending Jan. 1, 2027.

The Nye County Commission made the appointment during its Tuesday, March 19 meeting. There were eight letters of interest submitted, including those from Kayla Ball, Leo Blundo, Andrew Caccavale, Doug Dubin, Freidhof, William Hockstedler, Chastity Lobato-Belcher and William Stark. However, Lobato-Belcher withdrew prior to the meeting.

Each candidate for the appointment was given the chance to speak for three minutes, which was followed by questions from the commission. The one question that seemed to be the cinch-point for the board was whether the candidate would be able to step into Kampf’s shoes and immediately begin managing the office, which includes an array of responsibilities.

Elections are a major part of what the clerk handles but this is far from the only duty, as the office also acts as clerk of the Fifth Judicial District Court and ex-officio clerk for the various boards throughout Nye County, including the commission. The clerk is also charged with filing fictitious firm names, marriage licenses and officiant licenses, overseeing voter registration and more.

Freidhof said she is already well versed in all aspects of the clerk’s office, as she has been employed in the department for over five years and has worked under both Kampf and former longtime Nye County Clerk Sam Merlino.

“I have had the advantage of working under two different clerks,” Freidhof wrote in her letter of interest. “I have learned from both. I have a good working rapport with other clerks in the state and the secretary of state’s office… I feel my knowledge of our office and my experience in finance would be of benefit to the citizens of the county.”

Freidhof also touched on the fact that the county will be migrating to a new voting system in the coming months and as she is familiar with both the old and the new, her knowledge will help ensure a smooth transition.

As for immediately taking up the mantle of leadership, Freidhof said she felt confident in her ability to do so.

“I know the job and I know elections. I can say that I have probably touched every voter’s record here in Nye County with my hands, every voter… I do have experience in management and we have a great team in the clerk’s office right now,” Freidhof stated, adding, “The election will not fail. Even if you don’t pick me, the election will not fail.”

Freidhof also came with a letter of recommendation from Kampf and following a round of formal evaluation by commissioners, she was declared the top-ranking candidate by a sizable margin.

The categories of evaluation included: qualifications for clerk; educational background; prior work experience; verbal communication during interview; and overall impression. Each category was ranked zero to five points. The top three candidates were Freidhof, who scored 118 points, followed by Ball with 100 points and Hockstedler with 79 points.

Commissioner Bruce Jabbour made the motion to appoint Freidhof, which passed with all in favor.

“Welcome to your new position,” commission chair Debra Strickland said as the item concluded.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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