Clementine is the star of this series and she should absolutely stay in it as the main attraction. Watching her mature from a little girl into a much more battle-hardened veteran has been wonderful to watch. I missed the writing of Gary Whitta in season 2 so it lost some of its believability, but still not a bad effort.
If we're going by TV terms, Whitta was just one of the writers, Sean Vanaman was the showrunner. So it's probably him you're missing the most here.
Did he also not come back for season 2?