On Nov. 5, a special election will decide who serves the City of Emporia and Greensville County as Clerk of Court.
JoAnne S. Conner was appointed to the position March 1, following the retirement of Robert C. Wrenn. George E. Morrison, III, and Linda B. Edwards are challenging Conner for the seat.
Conner told an audience at the recent NAACP Banquet that she is dedicated to the community in her professional and private life. She added, service to God should be, and is our highest calling. Conner is a 26-year veteran of the office. She believes her experience and training sets her apart from her opponents. She said the first consideration for voters in this race should be the expertise, experience, and training of the candidates.
Conner earned certification through the National Center for State Courts, a Master Deputy Clerk, and a certified court manager. Conner has what she describes as extensive training in continuous education through the Virginia Supreme Court.
“I have been on the ground floor of the massive technological improvements of the last 20 years,” Conner said. “And I’m the only candidate with experience in securing and implementing the new technologies to make the Clerk’s Office safer, more efficient, and more productive. If elected, I won’t have to be trained to do the job. I’m already doing it”
Morrison, the planning manager for Brunswick County, said he is the only Democrat Party nominee in the race. He earned a BA in History with a minor in pre-law from Emory & Henry. Morrison received his masters of urban and regional planning with a concentration of economic development planning in public budgeting and management from Virginia Tech. He went on to earn his certification from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
“As your next clerk, I will modernize this office to better serve my fellow citizens by upgrading not only its processes and equipment, but by improving the customer service offered on a daily basis, and not just during an election,” he said.
Morrison said free notary public services would be offered to citizens on request, and he would seek to select jury pools that accurately reflect the demographics of the community.
Edwards is the wife of retired Greensville County Sheriff James R. Edwards. They are members of the Jerusalem Baptist Church.
She is currently a Title Examiner, a position she has held for 19 years. She previously worked in the Greensville County Clerk’s Office for 11 years and was Chief Deputy Clerk for the Surry County Circuit Court for a year and a half.
“While working as Chief Deputy Clerk in Surry County Circuit Court, my skill resourcefulness allowed me to build on technical advancement,” Edwards said. “I quickly transformed that office into a cutting edge operation. We quickly used the Virginia Supreme Court to help with the scanning of deeds. I’m committed to running an effective, efficient office with the use of modern technology, ensuring public access to court records, providing excellent customer service to our community, law, justice community and courts we serve.”
Though Edwards is currently a Title Examiner, she said it requires traveling from court to court in neighboring counties, which allows her to be well versed in the aspects of clerks offices. The Clerk of Court is one of three races in which both Emporia and Greensville County voters will participate.