Efird sworn in as Stanly County’s first female Clerk of Superior Court

It was a packed crowd Thursday afternoon in courtroom 402 of the Stanly County Courthouse as everyone from law enforcement officers and lawyers and judges, to local and state politicians were on hand to witness an historic event: the swearing in of Ginger Efird as the county’s new Superior Clerk of Court.

“Since the county of Stanly was founded in 1841, there has never been a woman elected to serve as the clerk of superior court, until now,” said Superior Court Judge Kevin Bridges, who presided over the ceremony, underscoring the importance of the moment.

He added that her elevation to the clerk’s office “will forever be carved into the granite stones of the history of this county as the affirmation of our American Dream.”

Efird takes over for clerk Michael Huneycutt, who served for four terms and was first elected in 2006. She defeated Todd Lowder, Stanly County’s chief magistrate, last month, taking home 79% of the electorate with 18,161 votes.

A 2000 graduate of Pfeiffer University, Efird began her career with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office, where she was a domestic violence legal assistant for five years. She then transferred to Prosecutorial District 20, which included Anson, Richmond, Stanly, and Union counties, for District Attorney Michael Parker as a child sex assault and abuse victim/witness legal assistant, according to her website.

Efird was most recently administrative assistant, a position she held for 14 years, during which time she worked for three district attorneys, including incumbent T. Lynn Clodfelter, who spoke about how Efird was ready to meet the moment with her new position.

“I speak for everyone, when I say, you are where you’re supposed to be and I know you will do a great job,” he said.

Efird is not the first female in her family to make political history, a fact she acknowledged in a short speech after taking her oath of office. Her mother, Jann Lowder, was the first to serve as chairwoman of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners.

“Mama, I get to join you today,” she said about the significance of her victory, “because you one time made history in this county. And now we have that in common.”

She told the crowd, which was standing room only with at least 100 people in attendance, that she was proud of the fact that her opponents during the primary and general elections became her friends and that she ran a clean and positive race.

“Not many people can say that,” she said.

Efird hoped that her barrier-breaking victory could also be a source of inspiration for her two daughters.

“To my girls, I want you to know: You can be whatever you want to be and it doesn’t matter that you’re a female,” she told them.

She also thanked her husband, Chad Efird, for supporting her decision to run for office, which she said was not an easy decision, considering she came from a political family and knew how tough it could get.

Fifteen months ago, when she first learned Huneycutt would not seek reelection, she distinctly recalled telling Chad that she would become the next clerk in Stanly County and “15 months later, here I am.”

Efird offered words of support and encouragement to the clerk staff that she now oversees, calling each of them her “extended family.”

“With all of you, we’re going to have a great office,” she said. “I look forward to this journey with you.”

She concluded her speech noting how “taken aback” she was with the number of people who came out to support her, adding: “I’m going to relish in this moment for a long time to come.”