Second Primary Election set for Tuesday

Jul. 13, 2014 @ 06:49 AM

Approximately 25,600 Republicans and unaffiliated voters have an opportunity to go to the polls Tuesday, July 15 to choose the Republican nominee for Rutherford County Clerk of Court in the Second Primary Election.

Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. at all voting precincts across the county.

The Board of Elections voted recently to approve the temporary transfer of Rutherfordton #2 precinct to the County Annex Building on July 15 due to a scheduling conflict. All other precincts are the same.

Republican candidates Tammy Clements Aldridge and Steve Owens are seeking their party’s nomination to run for the office in the November General Election.

The winner of Tuesday’s election will face Democrat Madeane Hodge in November.

Elections Director Debbie Bedford said Friday afternoon 799 people have already voted either by mail or at One Stop Voting at the Board of Elections.

Those who are eligible to vote Tuesday must be registered Republicans, Unaffiliated voters who voted Republican in the May primary and unaffiliated voters who did not vote in May.

The last comparable run off office in Rutherford County was in 2006 when Republican county commissioner candidates Ron Gurley and Don Corry sought their party’s nomination to run against Democrat Margaret Helton, who utimately won the election.

Gurley won the second primary, but only 467 people went to the polls.

In the May primary, Aldridge received 1,562 votes while Owens received 1,308 votes. Aldridge did not receive the mandated 40 percent of the votes cast to be named winner. Owens called for the run-off the next day.

Since the May elections, both candidates have been campaigning across the county vying for votes on Tuesday.

Both candidates offered comments Friday afternoon regarding the office and their run for the nomination.

Aldridge said Friday, “I was elated to hear that I had received the most votes in the first Primary. It made me feel very good to know that voters had the confidence that I would make the best Republican nominee.”

“I am the only candidate that can begin the first day supervising and administering the duties of the Clerk of Court, on the other hand, at various forums my opponent acknowledged that he would have to rely on others to help him learn the operations of the office,” Aldridge said


Aldridge said as a native of Rutherford County her work history has been one of hardworking, energetic, proven leadership,and a loyal employee. “My years of experience in various departments and including being an Assistant Clerk of Court gives me an advantage over my opponent,” she said.

Aldridge is the Director of 911 Communications where she supervises over 25 employees. She also drafts, proposes and administer a $1.6 million budget. “ I am happy that in my capacity I have been able to save the county and taxpayers thousands of dollars, while still providing professional and prompt service to the citizens of Rutherford County,” she said.

Owens said he has been continuously employed for over 16 years in the NC judicial system, both in -and -

out of the courtroom. He said he has dealt with thousands of people and with judges, law enforcement officers and attorneys, in the Judicial District.

“One of the duties of the Clerk of Superior Court is to act as a probate judge, and I pledge to be fair and impartial in my rulings. I have the proven ability to develop more efficiency in the work place, and I have a reputation for stability and a calm, even  temperament,” Owens said.

“I have the experience, ability and skills to make our Clerk’s Office move forward to better serve the citizens of Rutherford County. My goal is to make the Clerk’s Office an enjoyable place to work, a professional office to visit, and a place where citizens of Rutherford County are treated with courtesy and respect. I will run the Clerk’s Office as a business from day one and treat everyone fairly and equally,” Owens said.



Tammy Clements Aldridge (R)

Education: 1988 honor graduate of R-S Central High School. I attended Isothermal Community College. I have taken numerous classes through the NC Judicial System. I have over 300 classroom training hours with the Sheriff’s Office. I have approximately 88 classroom training hours on supervision, leadership and management.

Occupation: 911 Communications Director

Experience: I have worked in public service for over 22 years. I was employed by the Clerk of Superior Court for approximately 10 years. When I departed the Clerk’s Office in December of 2010, I was an Assistant Clerk and the Supervisor of the Criminal Department. I have extensive experience in child support enforcement, and in the Cashier’s Office, I have trained many clerks in these areas, as well as the Criminal Department. I am also experienced with magistrate duties. During the transition of losing five out of seven magistrates, Robynn and I performed these duties while we had four new magistrates in training. I have over 10 years of supervisory experience with the last three being in management serving as the 911 Director. There I manage every aspect of the 911 Communications Center. I currently supervise 26 hard-working employees.


Steve Owens (R)

Education: 1976 graduate of R-S Central High School 1978 Graduate of Isothermal Community College with Associate of Arts Degree

Occupation: Victim/Witness Legal Assistant District Attorney’s Office

Experience: I have been continuously employed for over 16 years in our State’s Judicial System, both in and out of the courtroom. I have dealt with thousands of people and with all of our judges, law enforcement officers, and attorneys, in this Judicial District. In addition, I have over 20 years of extensive management experience in the private sector. I was entrusted with training new managers for a major national company for an entire region of this state, teaching those new managers the correct way to treat the public, manage their employees, and provide leadership and quality customer service. Also as a multi-store manager I was managing stores with an average of 18-25 employees each and which generated average sales from $1.6 million to $2.8 million each. My duties included all aspects of management, including hiring, training, supervision, payroll, setting up multi-million dollar budgets, loss prevention, audits and all human resource issues. I feel that with my combined experience of management skills along with my experience in the Judicial System I am the best candidate for Clerk of Court for Rutherford County.