By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
Margie Bishop grew up on a small family farm where she was the 11th of 12 children. She learned the value of hard work and the importance of family waking up early mornings to milk the cow and tend to the vegetable garden. Her family was known in her rural community for growing sugar cane and selling jars of sorghum molasses along the roadside.
After high school, Margie worked at International Paper and got married to Aaron Bishop of the Clements community. She later became a legal assistant at a law office in downtown Athens and worked on matters involving criminal defense, estate planning, divorce, and child support. When a position opened in the Circuit Clerk’s Office 7 ½ years ago, Margie submitted her application and was hired.
Margie began working at the front counter in the clerk’s office where customer service was her top priority. Since then, she has worn several hats and is currently employed as a court specialist IV for Juvenile Court and is the Warrant Magistrate. As a court specialist IV, Margie serves as the intake officer for petitions involving juvenile dependency and juvenile delinquency. As the Warrant Magistrate, she handles warrants for felonies and misdemeanors and has a strong working relationship with members of law enforcement. “I enjoy the interaction with the public as well as law enforcement,” she said. When asked if there was a case that really stood out in her mind as one where she made a big difference, she replied, “People have stopped by to say thank you after getting custody of their grandkids and to let me know that I helped get the ball rolling.”
One of Margie’s most important jobs is to work with absentee ballots in the election season. She was quick to point out, however, that because this year she is on the ballot, she is not allowed to work in that capacity. I asked her about election security in Limestone County, and she told me that the system has been redone and has been made more secure. “No dead people have had the chance to vote in Limestone County,” she told me with a smile. (And, let’s be clear that no dead people have voted in Limestone County, period.) Election integrity is very important to Margie, and she firmly told me that she does not ever want to see anything in our country that begins to resemble the debacle of the 2020 federal election season.
Here is Margie’s official statement regarding her qualifications for the job:
Margie Bishop is currently employed by the Limestone County Clerk’s Office as a Warrant Magistrate and Juvenile Court Specialist IV. She has been employed by the Clerk’s Office for over 7 years and is familiar with all its operations including absentee voting. Margie has the knowledge and experience to step into the role of Circuit Court Clerk and will make sure the job gets done.
If elected, Margie will make customer service the top priority of the Clerk’s Office and will make sure that all services are made more accessible for the citizens of Limestone County. Margie will also do everything possible to keep our courts running smoothly, efficiently, and without interruption.
I asked her myself, “I have choices, why should I vote for you?” Here is what she told me: “I have the knowledge and experience and would need very little additional training to do the job. I have healthy relationships with law enforcement as well as the District Attorney’s office, the judges, and my co-workers,” she said. “You also have to have discernment when it comes issuing warrants, to determine if there is probable cause–if there is even the smallest possibility of having a case. You also have to be willing to tell people “no” when no probable cause exists. Oftentimes, that is not pleasant, but it has to be done if justice is going to be served.”
There are a lot of different situations that come into the clerk’s office and we are here to listen, help and serve. I have over 13 years of experience in the legal and judicial system, making me the most recent and relevant candidate running for Circuit Court Clerk.
If these are the qualifications you are looking for as a Limestone County Circuit Court Clerk, then vote for Margie Bishop on March 5th.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner