Prieto Will Not Seek Reelection As St. Tammany Clerk
SLIDELL, LA – St. Tammany Parish Clerk of Court Malise Prieto announced she will not seek reelection in October.
Prieto, a lawyer by training, was first elected in 1995 and has been reelected four times since. Although beginning a campaign for a sixth term this summer, she decided over the weekend to retire and open the Clerk's race up for other qualified candidates who would otherwise hesitate to run against her.
"It has been my honor and pleasure to serve as Clerk of Court for five terms,” she said. “I enjoyed interacting with the public and found much satisfaction in my career over the years. It was the perfect job for me. The duties and responsibilities of serving as Clerk of Court, Recorder of Mortgages and Conveyances, Chief Elections Official and Custodian of the Parish Archives kept me busy, focused on providing excellent customer service and determined to leave the office in a positive posture at the end of my career."
In recent months, however, Prieto said the politics required to retain the job have extinguished her enthusiasm.
"Public service is a great vocation, but in an increasingly hostile campaign environment, the joy is quickly outweighed by the political innuendo," she said. "To do a job like this, one must have 'fire in their belly.' I've kept that fire burning for a long, long time – almost 20 years. Unfortunately, that fire has been extinguished by ugly politics and twisted truths. In the past few months, I've watched the positive morale of my staff slipping away. The best way to restore that morale is to remove myself from the picture and create an opening for some young professional with leadership skills, intelligence and an uplifting personality to step into the current race for Clerk of Court."
Prieto's current term expires at midnight on June 30, 2016.
"I don't know who will enter the race to succeed me in this office, but I hope it will be someone with a passion for public service and an appreciation of history, accuracy, and inter-agency collaboration to meet the needs of St. Tammany's citizens," Prieto said. "I look forward to enjoying retirement with my husband, Rick, and will continue to be involved in the community."