Staff Writer

Incoming elected officials took the oath of office Thursday morning at the new Clay County Justice Court Complex. Judges Joseph Studdard and Jim Kitchens presided over the ceremony.
"Our country is one that is representative," Studdard said. "We have a representative government. With all of those who are being sworn in this morning, you will notice they are of different races, both men and women, of all faiths and all ages."
They represent a broad background of the people of Clay County, Studdard said.
"I think that speaks well of Clay County," Studdard said. "That you are able to put so many different kinds of people in office to represent you."

Studdard congratulated the candidates who had won the races and were about to take the oath of office.
"I had to run for election last year," Studdard said. "I understand what that entails. For those of you who ran unopposed, congratulations. And congratulations to those who ran opposed. Those races take a little more out of you every time. I also want to congratulate your families for standing by you and giving their support."
Studdard then quoted Kahlil Gibran “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
"All of these people are truly giving back to their community," Studdard said. "They are giving their time, their talents. They have said they are willing to listen to complaints."

He asked Supervisor RB Davis if there had ever been a perfect road in his district.
"I wouldn't even begin to get into the problems the Sheriff's Department has to deal with," Studdard said.
But he asked that everyone support their local officials as they try to do the right thing for those citizens of Clay County.
Suddard and Kitchens each swore in those who were elected to represent and to work for all of the citizens of Clay County.
"I'm starting my eighteenth year," Kitchens said. "People often stop and offer me a word of encouragement. But what I find the most humbling, is when people tell me they are praying for me."

Everyone who has been sworn in this morning will need prayers, Kitchen said.
"Some days the job will be very easy," Kitchens said. "But some days it is not easy. Knowing you have the support of your community, makes it worthwhile."
He said they will hear they are doing a good job, and they will hear when they are not doing a good job, but always appreciate those who elected you to that office.