Niles resident to run for clerk

Published 3:48 pm Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The more Robin Bays finds out about the duties of the Berrien County clerk, the more she thinks it’s the perfect position for her.

When people first approached her about running for the post, Bays was unsure about it.

“I had never thought about it,” she said.

But as she researched the position, she realized she would be a good fit.

Bays, a Niles democrat and political newcomer, officially announced her candidacy last week.

She will run against another Niles resident, Sharon Tyler, who is serving as state representative for the 78th District, in the November election. Current clerk Louise Stine is retiring after more than 20 years at the post.

Bays has worked for Niles for 10 years and serves as an accounts payable clerk. She graduated from Niles High School before attending Southwestern Michigan Community College, receiving a business degree.

She is a member of the South County Democratic Club. Bays also belongs to the United Steelworkers Local 13729, where she serves as the treasurer, civil rights chairwoman, women of steel co-chair and assistant steward.

She has shadowed the clerk in Muskegon County and intends to spend time at the Berrien County clerk’s office to learn its inner workings.

“I am not a politician by any means,” she said. “I’m a normal person trying to make a difference.”

Bays says she’s “very detail-oriented, a hard worker and a very fair person.”

If elected, Bays said her focus would be to encourage higher voter turnout.

“I want people to understand their vote matters. That’s important to me, for them to know their voice matters,” she said.

For more information on Bays’ campaign, visit or She can be reached at