The Edmond Sun

Local News

June 27, 2012

Rhodes, Key to duel in court clerk runoff

EDMOND — Chief Deputy Court Clerk Tim Rhodes and State Rep. Charles Key have some more campaigning to do.

In the race for Oklahoma County court clerk, Rhodes finished with 10,480 votes, 39.78 percent of the total 26,345 votes cast, while Key finished with 9,485 votes, 36.00 percent of the total. Since no candidate in the race received more than 50 percent of the vote, Rhodes and Key will face each other in an Aug. 28 runoff primary election.

Nathan Schlinke, 38, of Edmond, received 3,435 votes, 13.04 percent of the total. Salome Vaughn, 57, of Edmond, a deputy court clerk in the 1990s, received 1,226 votes, 4.65 percent of the total.

Oklahoma City attorney Kelly Barlean, 51, suspended his campaign for personal reasons last month, but it was too late to get his name removed from the ballot. Barlean received 1,719 votes, 6.52 percent of the total.

Final results in the race were not complete until after 11 p.m. The delay was blamed on a computer glitch.

The unofficial, unverified results do not include provisional ballot results until after 5 p.m. Friday. They are subject to contest and recount and are neither final nor official until they are so certified by the Oklahoma County Election Board.

No Democrat filed for the seat. The court clerk is elected every four years. The new term begins in January.

“It’s been a long night,” Rhodes said of the wait for the final total. “We’re very excited.”

Rhodes said he is proud of the effort to this point and he is looking forward to the runoff. He thanked his supporters, and said his experience with the court clerk’s office will help him in the position if he is elected.

“The work is important,” Rhodes said.

Key also said he was glad the results were in and that he expected to be in a runoff. He said he’s ready for the next phase.

“We’ll keep campaigning hard and take the issues to the voters who will decide who the next court clerk will be,” Key said.

Vaughn said she was disappointed by the low turnout, which she believes shows that many voters don’t turn out for primaries and many Americans feel as if their vote doesn’t count.

“Apathy is pretty big,” she said.

Vaughn said she frequently had to educate voters about what the county clerk does.

Primarily, the court clerk records and maintains court records filed in Oklahoma County. About 120,000 new court cases were filed in the county last year, more than any other state, local or federal court in Oklahoma, according to information posted on the office’s website. The number of new case filings increases about 5 percent each year. Most records kept by the office are open for public inspection.

Since 2002, a full time county clerk office has been staffed in Edmond at 28 E. Main Street.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

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