BENTON TOWNSHIP — Benton Township’s longtime clerk faces a familiar foe in the Aug. 4 primary.

Democratic candidate Barbara Meeks is running against Democrat incumbent Carolyn Phillips for township clerk, a seat that holds a four-year term.

The top vote-earner will run unopposed at the November general election.

Meeks, 63, said she is running for office in an effort to bring fresh ideas to the township.

As a census field supervisor, Meeks previously was on the Cornerstone Alliance Board of Directors, the Lakeland Foundation Board of Directors the Northside Business Association and the Board for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

“I think that our community needs new ideas,” Meeks said. “We need to work together as a community to where it was when I first moved to this area. There are a number of things that we can do as a community and I want to be a part of that.”

Meeks said she wants to focus on the sidewalks, as a large portion of the township’s population walks to work.

“I am running for the people,” she said. “I have been a citizen (in the township) for over 43 years. It’s time for the people’s voices to be heard.”

Phillips, 66, is seeking her seventh term as clerk.

The lifelong resident has been employed at the township since 1976, and was first elected as clerk in 1996.

“My commitment to the community where I was born and raised speaks for itself,” Phillips said.

She is a member of the Berrien County Clerks Association, the Benton Township Police and Fire Pension Board and the Benton Township Planning Commission.

“My integrity, commitment and dedication, record of continued financial stability and security for the future, maintaining police, fire, sewer, water services for our residents, infrastructure improvements, support of single-family housing and commercial development are some of the important reasons I am asking to be re-elected as township clerk,” Phillips said.

Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski