Nelson vows to finish her term on school board

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By Damon Lawrence

Kim Nelson said she plans to finish her term on the Roane County Board of Education.
She was elected circuit court clerk earlier this month, and will take office on Sept. 1.
Nelson was elected to the school board in 2008. She has two years remaining on a four-year term.
“If it comes out that I can’t stay on, then I’ll have to give it up, but I want to try to finish my term,” she said.
Angela Randolph, the current clerk, did not seek re-election.
Nelson defeated Mona Gardner Wright and Bob Alford for the position.
Questions have swirled about whether Nelson can hold both offices at the same time.
“I can’t find the [Tennessee Code Annotated] code that says she can’t,” Administrator of Elections Charles Holiway said.
Others see it differently.
“According to the way I read the law, you can’t hold both of those jobs,” Commissioner Bobby Collier said.
Nelson, a lawyer, said she’s done some research of her own.
“The TCA that I looked at says that a county official cannot be a candidate for election to the board of education,” she said. “I’m not a candidate. I’m already on the board, so obviously in two more years when my term ends, I couldn’t run for re-election based on that statute.”
She added, “My understanding of that statute and the way I look at it would be that I can finish my term.”
Nelson said she wants to be sure, which is why she’s hoping Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. will weigh in.
“I want to get an opinion from someone higher up than me,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll know something soon. I don’t have any control over the timeline. I wish I knew something right now, but I don’t.”
Despite the dual-office issue, Nelson was an overwhelming favorite of the voters. She received 53.58 percent of the vote in the clerk’s race.
Nelson said she’s been busy preparing for her new job.
“I’ve gone to some of the other counties and watched how they do court and how their clerks manage the cases,” she said. “Just trying to learn better ways, different ways to handle things.
“I haven’t really taken much of a break since the election.”