Prothonotary Candidates

Prothonotary Candidates

Name Party Office

Debbie Bookman

Democratic

Prothonotary

Website: https://www.friendsfordebbiebookman.com
Facebook: Debbie Bookman Democrat Candidate for Chester County Prothonotary
Twitter: @dbookman62814
Email: friendsfordebbiebookman@gmail.com
Explain why you are running for this position.
Throughout my life I worked very hard to turn personal hardships into positive outcomes which made me the person that I am today. I am running because given the climate in our Country today I believe that it is more important than ever for us to continue the movement that we as a party have begun. Everyone needs to realize that they have a role to play. I am a domestic abuse survivor and I know how overwhelming and scary it can be for someone going through child custody cases, obtaining protection abuse orders, or dealing with the aftermath of leaving a home for their safety. These are many of the services this office provides. The general public that utilizes this office are victims of circumstances of which I can relate to first-hand. This is an administrative position of which I have over 17 years’ experience. There is a solicitor on staff in this office and they are not permitted to give any legal advice which makes it even more important to have someone who can relate to them and walk them through the guidelines of the filing process. Many people believe that more degrees mean more qualified but that is not applicable for this office. I know that I will do a great job in this office and I know that I can win this election. I am a person who survived against all odds and I am running to make a difference.
If you are elected, on which top 3 issues would you concentrate?
1) Explore options for collaboration to upgrade the Law Library
2) Create multi-lingual guidance materials for self-represented constituents and links to additional resources
3) As a domestic violence survivor, I would like to explore collaboration option with organizations such as Chester County Domestic Violence Center to assist with finances for victims needing assistance but unable to pay for services in the Prothonotary office.
Why are you the best candidate for this position?
I believe that I am the best candidate for this position because I have had personal experiences with many of the issues that the Prothonotary office provides services for, so I know that I will be able to empathize with those who come in seeking assistance. I believe that anyone who makes the decision to become a public servant should have certain qualities: integrity, dedication, and respect. I pride myself on maintaining all three of these much needed qualities. If I am elected to this office I will work diligently to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and efficiently. I will ensure that the office of the Prothonotary is compliant with all guidelines, and continue advancing the office by working towards implementing a computer- generated process to obtain and file documents as well as the ability to electronically receive payments. I would see that all staff members receive proper training and are cross-trained to be prepared for staff transitions.

My experience in risk and quality can be utilized in this office by looking for areas of improvement and implementing proactive measures as opposed to reactive procedures. Paying attention to maintenance efficiency optimizes the level of reliability and availability of an organization’s assets. I believe my dedication, teamwork orientation and interpersonal skills would make me an asset in this position. The issues that I feel are most important in this race are the need for continued monitoring of user-friendly effec
What do you say to your potential constituents to make you stand out from everyone else? (Something like: I play the banjo while standing on my head or I juggle or anything that truly makes you unique)
When I was in the 8th grade I was very fortunate to be chosen for a vocal audition with the very prestigious Julliard School in New York City. I passed the audition and was accepted into Julliard. Unfortunately, my father decided that the arts would not be a sustainable career path for me and insisted that I pursue a medical path. Today I am neither a professional singer nor in the medical field. I am a community advocate and I know that this is the path that I was destined to take.
Will you support the eventual nominnee of your party?
Yes, I will be honored to support the eventual nominee of my party.
Name Party Office

Joe Heffern

Democratic

Prothonotary

Website: https://joeheffern.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoeHeffernForProthonotary/
Twitter:
Email: joerheffern@gmail.com
Explain why you are running for this position.
I am running to become Chester County's next Prothonotary because as a practicing attorney with over 15 years of civil litigation experience, I believe that I have the knowledge and expertise to make Chester County's civil court system more accessible to the average person seeking justice. The Prothonotary is the gatekeeper to the civil court system. The gate to the courts should be unlocked for everyone to access, regardless of whether they can afford an attorney.
If you are elected, on which top 3 issues would you concentrate?
1. Accessibility to the civil court system: The first thing that I will do is draft a Pro Se Manual and offer free evening open houses multiple times a year to educate the public about how to access the Prothonotary's Office without an attorney.
2. Transparency: Currently, the public has to pay to access online court dockets outside of the Prothonotary's Office. These are public dockets and public information, which should be free to anyone with an internet connection. I will ensure that this happens.
3. Leadership: As a member of the Chester County Bar Association, I will partner with Chester County’s judges and lawyers to find ways for the Prothonotary’s office to decrease civil litigation costs and facilitate early mediation and settlement of cases in an effort to save money for both litigants and the County.
Why are you the best candidate for this position?
As the gatekeeper to Chester County's civil court system, the Prothonotary leads and manages an office comprised of approximately 25 legal professionals who ensure that the court system runs smoothly and efficiently. Thus, it is important that the Prothonotary not only have experience managing legal professionals, but also have a strong understanding of the law and how the court system operates. Having served as a federal law clerk in Philadelphia for two years, following my graduation from law school, I know how courts operate. Moreover, I managed teams of attorneys and paralegals, working on complex litigations, for a number of years as a senior attorney at a large international law firm in Philadelphia. I am the only candidate for Prothonotary (Democrat or Republican) who has a law degree or this depth of experience working in the court system.
What do you say to your potential constituents to make you stand out from everyone else? (Something like: I play the banjo while standing on my head or I juggle or anything that truly makes you unique)
I love science. My undergraduate degree is in biology and I considered getting a PhD in it. My first job after college was working in a lab, conducting cancer research at Penn State's Medical School in Hershey. After a year of "harvesting colons" from rats, I decided to apply to law school to become a patent attorney, specializing in biotechnology.
Will you support the eventual nominnee of your party?
Absolutely! Regardless of our differences, I believe that the Democratic Party is the party that truly supports and protects the rights of the average person.

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