By James Wright, Special to the AFROjwright@afro.com

One of the most important jobs in Prince George’s County government is also considered one of the least glamorous, but that is fine with Adrion Howell.

Howell, a resident of Glenn Dale, is a candidate for clerk of the county court. Howell told the AFRO he is committed to making sure the clerk’s office is the best it can be for county residents.

“I am running to improve the quality of customer service in the clerk’s office and I have the qualifications to lead the office and the desire to serve the public,” he said.

Adrion Howell has worked for the White House and members of the U.S. Congress. He is seeking the office of clerk of the county court. (Courtesy photo)

The Clerk of the Court is elected by the voters of Prince George’s County but is considered a state official and works with the county’s judicial branch. The duties of the clerk include having custody of the books, records and papers of the office; make entries of all proceedings of the court and keep them in well-bound books or other permanent form; providing copies of county papers that are available; issue writs from courts; administer oaths; report both traffic and criminal cases involving motor vehicles and receiving all books, documents, public letters and packages sent to the office and dispose of them lawfully.

Sydney Harrison is the present clerk. Harrison isn’t running for re-election but has instead opted to seek a District 9 County Council seat.

Howell is running against Mahasin El-Amin, Adrian Mason, Gloria McClam-Magruder, Bonita Rabalais and Denise Roberts in the June 26 Democratic Party primary. The winner will likely take the seat after the Nov. 6 general election because there is no Republican opponent.

Howell holds a bachelor’s degree from Norfolk State University and a juris doctorate from the Howard University School of Law. He has worked as a clerk for a judge in Virginia, the Clinton administration and for U.S. Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), who is retired and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) as well as for the county.

Howell ran unsuccessfully for the county council in 2002 and for county clerk in 2010.

Howell is a principal and a founder of Howell & Associates, a government relations firm that has had clients such as Clear Channel. He is also a founding member of the African-American Democratic Club of Prince George’s County.

In the 1990s, Howell was honored by the Washington AFRO-American Newspaper for being an admired Black male and wrote commentaries for the newspaper.

Howell said if elected as the clerk, he will work diligently to serve Prince Georgians. “Many residents don’t understand the role of the office,” he said. “I will make sure that I will be an impartial keeper of the records that include marriage and divorce papers, deeds and land records. If this job isn’t done right, it can cost the citizens a lot of money.”

As the clerk, Howell said he will continue its evolving technological capacity and work to increase outreach in the county.

“I want to focus on seniors so they can understand what our office does,” he said. “I want to increase our outreach in the community so they can understand what we do also and bring young people into the office with internships.”