Dems tap Stratton for clerk

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By Shannon Brock

Anthony Stratton will be the democratic nominee on the ballot for Anderson County clerk this November, the Anderson County Democrat Executive Committee decided Monday night.

Stratton has held public office in Anderson County before, serving as a magistrate from 1990-93 and as judge-executive from 1999-2006.

"I'm very excited," Stratton said. "This is a position where you serve the public...and it pleased me to be chosen as the nominee."

The 20-member executive committee spent just under two hours hearing from eight candidates who were interested in running for the county clerk position. Two other candidates had expressed interest in the position, but were not present to speak before the committee Monday night. Their names remained on the ballot.

The committee met at the Anthony Stratton Building in Anderson Community Park. The candidates were asked to stay upstairs until called to make their presentation to the committee. They spoke to the committee one at a time. The order of which they spoke was chosen randomly by drawing names.

Each candidate gave a three-minute opening statement and then answered a series of questions prepared by the committee.

The committee then cast secret-ballot votes until a single candidate had received a majority of the votes.

During his opening remarks, Stratton said the goals of the Democratic Party should be to keep the seat of county clerk and to choose a candidate who would treat the citizens with respect.

"This is a big spot to fill as a party," Stratton said.

The committee spent just over an hour casting votes until a nominee was chosen, as the last candidate finished speaking around 7:15 p.m. and Stratton said he received the call from Democrat Party Chairman Brian Stivers around 8:30 saying he had been named the nominee.

Long-time county clerk Harold Ritchey died unexpectedly June 2. According to state law, each party will choose a nominee to run on the ballot in November. The person elected will serve out the remainder of Ritchey's term.

If elected, Stratton said his intentions are to seek re-election in 2010. But now, his focus is on winning the seat in November.

"I'm going to organize my campaign and hit the ground running," Stratton said.