Yard signs are being printed up. Campaign managers are being hired. Fish-fry fund-raisers are being planned weeks in advance.
The juvenile court clerk race is in full swing and the election isn’t even until next May.
Incumbent Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver will face down a crowded field, including political veterans, a courthouse insider and an unknown newcomer when he vies for re-election next year.
Vying for Lineweaver’s seat are forensic toxicologist Jeff Brousal, School Board member Karen Johnson, court officer David Smith and Councilwoman Vivian Wilhoite.
The five candidates are trying to keep pace with one another in terms of fund raising, campaigning and generating name recognition, despite the fact that court officer races typically don’t generate much attention so long before an election.
“I think we’re just trying to get as much visibility as possible as far as name recognition is concerned," Wilhoite said. "I really have thought it’s quite earlier than you would expect.”
Smith said he was unsurprised to see so much work on the campaign, since he’s actually been forming his own candidacy since early 2008.
“We’re getting close to seven months away. I’m not really surprised simply because when I started, it was back in February of 2008,” Smith said. “I’m almost surprised there are not hot air balloons flying through the air, because I’ve had my mind [on it] for so long, I expected it to be this way.”
Lineweaver has been seen as vulnerable since 2007, when he was arrested on contempt of court charges for failing to produce needed juvenile court documents. An investigation by Channel 4 that same year showed Lineweaver out in front of his home in a bathrobe during normal work hours.