PAXTON — Kamalen “Kammy” Johnson Anderson, a former Ford County circuit clerk, has announced her candidacy for the circuit clerk’s position in next March’s primary election.
Johnson Anderson held the office of circuit clerk from 1993 to 2008. Since then, she has been a partner at the Johnson & Johnson Insurance Agency in Paxton.
“I loved being circuit clerk,” said Johnson Anderson, “and I did not plan to leave office, but our lives took an unexpected turn when my late husband, Dale Johnson, who was a partner at Johnson & Johnson Insurance Agency, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. At the time, our children were in middle school and high school. I honored my husband’s wishes that I maintain our role in the family business.”
For that reason, Johnson Anderson left her position as circuit clerk to do so.
“Now that our sons Victor and Brock Johnson have completed their educations and joined the agency as fourth-generation insurance agents, I feel I can leave the business in their capable hands and return to the public service career I enjoyed so much,” Johnson said.
The current circuit clerk, Kim Evans of Paxton, is retiring at the end of her term in 2020, Johnson Anderson said. The March primary election will determine her replacement.
Johnson Anderson will be opposed in the election. Fellow Paxton resident Suzanne “Suzie” Shell, the chief deputy clerk for Ford County’s Probation & Court Services Department, previously announced her candidacy for the circuit clerk’s position.
Johnson Anderson said her leadership, skills and experience — plus her love for the job — make her an ideal candidate.
“The office is in need of leadership by someone who can hit the ground running,” Johnson Anderson said. “I successfully held the office for 15 years, and I am excited to have the opportunity to return to a job I enjoyed so much. Working with the various departments of Ford County government and state government, local municipalities, technology vendors, attorneys and constituents of Ford County was enormously rewarding for me. I loved going to my job every day. As an attorney myself, I know civil and criminal procedures, and I know how to respond to all needs of the office.
“It is my hope that the people of Ford County will allow me to use my education, skills and extensive experience to serve them as their circuit court clerk.”
Johnson Anderson, a Paxton resident, is a graduate of Hoopeston-East Lynn High School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in mathematics education from Illinois State University. She earned her juris doctorate degree from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
Johnson Anderson began her legal career as an attorney with Pacey & Pacey in Paxton, where she practiced law for more than nine years, five of which she served as assistant public defender.
Johnson Anderson said her achievements as Ford County circuit clerk included fully automating all facets of the office, accurate assessment and collection of fines and fees in traffic and criminal cases, seamless transition from local collection to the State Disbursement Child Support Collection Unit, and mentoring fellow circuit clerks.
Johnson Anderson smiles when recalling her attempt to improve the citizen jury service experience by offering home-baked goodies from her kitchen.
Johnson Anderson served as an officer in the Illinois Association of Court Clerks for five years. In 2005, she was elected president of the statewide Clerk’s Association. The following year, she spearheaded and led training for 18 newly elected circuit clerks and has mentored countless others.
Johnson Anderson is a member of the Federated Church in Paxton, where she is an elder, chairman of the church’s worship committee, and past head trustee and moderator. She is president of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, a director on the board of The Frederick Community Bank in Paxton, and a Paxton alderman.
In 2017, she married Greg Anderson, a local farmer. Her daughter, Kara Kinzinger, is a first-grade teacher at Clara Peterson Elementary School in Paxton. Her family supports her candidacy, and she said she could not undertake this endeavor without that support.
Ford County residents may remember the Johnson family’s Christmas light display, which she co-sponsors with her son Victor and considers one of the many joys she shares with her family. She looks forward to doing so again this year and further looks enthusiastically toward the March 2020 primary election.