With the deadline to turn in election qualifying papers now passed, a total of 11 candidates are officially set to run for Davidson County Juvenile Court clerk.
Candidates who wished to run in the county’s May primary had until noon today to supply the Davidson County Election Commission with required petition signatures and other information. A few individuals who picked up paperwork failed to actually turn in materials.
In what will undoubtedly be the most widely watched local race, current clerk Vic Lineweaver, a Democrat, will square off against seven others in the Democratic primary: Metro Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite, school board member Karen Johnson, David Smith, Jeff Brousal, Patricia Courts, Howard E. Jones Jr. and Jeff Crum.
Three candidates, meanwhile, will be competing as Republicans for the office: Metro Councilman Eric Crafton, Annette Crim and April Pennington.
Primaries are scheduled for May 4, with early voting to begin April 14. The Democratic winner and Republican winner will square off in August.
A groundswell of interest in the clerk’s position emerged after a WSMV-Channel 4 report showed Lineweaver at his home in a bathrobe during work hours. Previously, he had been found in contempt of court for failing to produce requested records to Davidson County Juvenile Court referees. Lineweaver's annual salary is $114,906.
In the last few weeks, yard signs in support of various candidates have popped up at heavily trafficked intersections throughout the city. Some candidates have even opened official campaign headquarters.
So far, there’s been little if any back and forth between candidates with candidates focusing on their fundraising efforts more than anything else.
The most recent financial disclosures, which were turned in at the end of January, showed Smith with $24,234 cash on hand, Wilhoite with $18,825, Lineweaver with $18,082, and Johnson with $9,989.
Those dollar figures have likely swelled as several candidates have held organized fundraisers in the weeks following the January filing deadline.
Other candidates were not required to reveal their financial numbers because of their late entries into the race.