Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Newton honored for Women's History Month

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Coryell County is home to many powerful women, and in honor of Women’s History Month, which is observed annually during the month of March, The Gatesville Messenger interviewed Coryell County Clerk Jennifer Newton to highlight her services to the community.

Newton’s journey in the County Clerk’s Office began in October of 2009. She was later appointed as the County Clerk during Commissioner’s Court on July 1, 2021 and was elected on Jan. 1, 2023.

“I have always been interested in the judicial system and government, so the county was a great place for me to pursue my career,” Newton said.

Being held to the high standard of a County Clerk, Newton has various daily responsibilities that she must complete.

Some of her responsibilities include records management, issuing and recording marriage licenses, managing vital statistics records, being the recorder of the county, TABC licensing, and many other records.

She also serves as the clerk for County Court and County Court at Law, regarding misdemeanors, probate, guardianships, civil, and mental health cases, as well as serving as the clerk for Commissioner’s Court.

She believes that it is crucial for women to take on these roles as they bring greater responsiveness to citizens’ needs, which generates better decision making.

“Women’s political participation is so important for our government,” Newton said. “More women are taking on leadership roles, which further expands the diversity for Coryell County.”

“I find Belva Lockwood to be a big inspiration, not just for me but for women in general,” Newton said. “She defied all odds and became the first woman to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, but she didn’t stop there, as she did all of this before the nineteenth amendment, allowing women to vote, was passed.”

Newton explained that she looks up to Lockwood because she stood firm on her beliefs and pursued her career, eventually running for president of the United States.

“She was a genuine, independent woman who pursued her true passion which is in the same way I live my life,” Newton said.

Although she thinks highly of Lockwood, her main inspiration comes from her mother Linda Newton, who she described as being a very strong and independent woman who never backed down or gave up throughout life, all while staying true to herself.

“She pursued her career in nursing, and regardless of how trying the times were, she never quit. She kept pushing forward and ended up specializing in several different fields within nursing,” Newton said. “After becoming a nurse, she decided to serve our country and dedicated eight years of her life to the United States Navy.”

“She instilled all these traits into me from birth,” Newton said. “I am who I am today because of my mom.”

Newton makes it her priority to serve her county in the same ways that her mother served her country, with diligence and honor.

“I will continue to expand on our efficiency, exceptional customer service, and expanding our technology to the citizens of Coryell County, all while being vigilant and efficient with taxpayer dollars,” Newton said.

“Serving the citizens of Coryell County is the best part of my job,” Newton said. “I listen to their needs and find ways to bring them to fruition.”