Nelson for judge, Ellis for clerk

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By Damon Lawrence

Kim Nelson’s tenure as Roane County circuit court clerk could be one term.

This week, Nelson announced plans to run for 9th Judicial District circuit court judge.

“I’m preparing to run, and I have picked up papers to begin this process,” she said.

Nelson was elected circuit court clerk in 2010. She replaced multi-term clerk Angela Randolph, who did not seek re-election that year.

The race for judge will not include an incumbent, either.

Circuit Court Judge Russell Simmons Jr. announced his retirement last year. His eight-year term ends on Aug. 31.

The 9th Judicial District includes Roane, Loudon, Meigs and Morgan counties.

“I strongly believe that I have the energy, integrity and legal experience to do this job and do it very well,” Nelson said.

Other political dominoes could start to fall now that Nelson has announced her plans to seek the judge position.

On Saturday Roane County District 2 Commissioner Randy Ellis said he would run for circuit court clerk if Nelson decided to run for judge.

Ellis picked up a petition to run for the clerk position on Monday.

Ann Goldston picked up a petition for circuit court clerk on Tuesday. Goldston works for Nelson as a deputy clerk.

“It’s not 100 percent set in stone, but I’m strongly considering running,” Goldston said.

The qualifying deadline for candidates is April 3. Withdrawal deadline is April 10.

Early voting runs from July 18 through Aug. 2. Election Day is Aug. 7.

The circuit court clerk position pays $73,825 a year.

The circuit court judge has an annual salary of $165,204.