Amy (Solomon) Shelton (D), Brazil, is running for Clay County coroner in the upcoming election.
Shelton is a full-time ER nurse and part-time paramedic, as well as the wife of a firefighter and mother of two high school boys.
"I honestly am running because when you get that call (as a coroner), you are dealing with a family at a time of crisis," Shelton said. "We worry about the deceased, but we also need to worry about the family."
Shelton said one of her goals, if elected, is to treat the families the way she would want to be treated if someone she loved died in a similar situation.
"I believe compassion and support needs to be offered," she said. "I want to guide them through the process and answer any questions they have because often this is thrown at them suddenly."
That is also Shelton's goal now as deputy coroner, a position she has held since 2009. She was also a deputy for almost two years under Steve Slack.
"I've had multiple phone calls from family members who have really appreciated how I have handled the situation. One said, 'You care. You can just tell you care.' That's why I do it."
Shelton is a certified medicolegal death investigator and is currently working on her forensic nurse certification. She said she also has a good working relationship with the forensic pathologist, who does all the county's autopsies, as well as the local law enforcement, fire departments and first responders.
"I want people to know that I'm very qualified, as well as I have the compassion for the surviving family members," Shelton, who has lived in Clay County for the past 18 years, said. "Also, with my experience as a RN and paramedic, I have in depth knowledge about the body, the pathophysiology and what injuries can be expected in different situations, which in turn helps with the investigation and assuring there hasn't been any foul play."
If elected, Shelton said her first goal would be to sit down with all the local police agencies and the prosecutor's office.
"I want us to be on the same page," she said. "I'd like everybody to know what everyone else expects in different instances."
Shelton said she also wants someone with the coroner's office to be at the scene within 15 minutes of the call.
The 2012 election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.