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Endorsement: Mark Scarce for Clerk of Court

Voters don’t usually pay much attention to elections for Clerk of Court in Virginia and that’s the wrong attitude to have. The elected term for Clerk of Court is eight years, so that means voters will be “hiring” somebody and end up paying them over $1,000,000 in salary & benefits. It’s a very important decision to make.

SouthsideCentral believes that Mark Scarce is the best candidate for this job.

H.F. Haymore, the current Clerk of Court for Pittsylvania County, is retiring after winning four eight-year terms. There are two candidates in this year’s election… Mark Scarce is currently a special agent with the Virginia State Police and R.J. Weaver is a loan officer with Virginia Bank & Trust.

Neither candidate has any work experience in the Clerk of Court’s office. Both candidates claim that their current work experience would lead them to success in the clerk’s job and I agree with both of them on that point. Scarce’s experience with the criminal side of court matters will help him more than Weaver’s familiarity with required amounts of filings would help him. That’s a slight advantage for Scarce. Since the Clerk’s job is mainly oversee the actions of the deputy clerks in the office, there will be a lot of on-the-job learning done by whoever wins this election. The Clerk’s office is also a mostly procedural based one, so the candidates are again equal on this.

I’ve talked with Scarce at community events and have done a TV interview with him. Weaver and his campaign made no outreach to SouthsideCentral at all and never responded back to an offer for his own TV interview. I have to give a slight advantage to Scarce for that.

In a race like this with two closely matched candidates, one thing can end up making a big difference. That’s the case here. Current clerk H.F. Haymore has endorsed Scarce, citing that Scarce asked all of the existing deputy clerks if they were going to run for the office and saying he would defer to them. That statement about Scarce’s character along with Haymore’s endorsement with 32 years of job experience is enough to tip the balance significantly for me.

SouthsideCentral gives our strong endorsement to Mark Scarce for Pittsylvania County Clerk of Court and we urge Pittsylvania County residents to vote for him on Tuesday, November 3rd.


12 comments to Endorsement: Mark Scarce for Clerk of Court

  • Lee

    I actually saw Scarce out on 58 running a weedeater, in khakis, clearing grass out from in front of one of his campaign signs. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I have never witnessed any other candidate doing that. It just impressed me that he was out there doing his own dirty work.


    Great Choice, SC! Mark is kind, polite and respectful to all people. He is not driven by politics or special interest groups. His supporters are grateful to have your support because we know you research and you report the facts.

  • Bill

    If you only knew Mr. Weaver these comments and letters would never have been written. Also when Mr . Haymore first ran for office he was a banker also not in law enforcement.

  • Lee Smallwood

    I just want a Clerk who won’t be an embarrassment like some Clerks both near here and farther away have been over the years. I hear nice things about both men, but I seem to know more people who support Mr. Scarce.

    And to be clear, while I would say Mr. Haymore embarrassed the County very mildly with his gay marriage remarks, I’m talking about other clerks who have done much more egregious things.

  • Arlene Creasy

    Mark Scarce will do an excellent job in this position.

  • Bill

    R J WILL do a better job. Why is it that everyone says a banker will not do a good job ? Do you not know that H F was a banker when elected. Come on guys wise up and don’t let Chatham do what it’s known for good ole buddy.

    • Let’s be real. Both candidates would do a good job. The job has no degree of creativity involved with it as the duties and codified in law.

      • Lee Smallwood

        That’s not really true. I’ll tell you what I would want in an ideal Clerk — technology skills. There is so much a Clerk can do to advance the way a Circuit Court works with technology, and the constituents deserve somebody who can take those steps instead of being dragged there by the Supreme Court of Virginia. That’s not a commentary on any sitting Clerk or candidate, just what I think is the most vital part of the job as it stands today.

        • I’m intrigued by your response. Wouldn’t every new implementation of technology have to be approved by a higher power?

          As in “Let’s scan in all of the deed books.” Would scanned records then be legally acceptable? That may be a bad example, but I hope you see my question’s focus.

          • Lee Smallwood

            The Clerk in I think it’s Norfolk is constantly innovating, and yes that involves saying to the Supreme Court staff “hey I want to do this to improve my office/efficiency of my employees/public access to records”. The Supreme Court then reviews the proposal and helps with implementing it as a pilot project. They’d do this with any Clerk, but just about all the stuff I know about that has happened has come from that one Clerk who is pushing the technology forward. If it succeeds and can be replicated, the Supreme Court offers the technology to Clerks. One thing I will say for Gerald Gibson, for instance, is that either he or the folks he has put into the higher positions in his office tend to be in about the first quarter of the Clerks offices who adopt these initiatives. There’s stuff we have in Danville that not everybody has yet.

            We aren’t at electronic-only records yet in Virginia, but that’s what the Feds have in at least many Courts. Yes, they would still be legally acceptable. For now, pretty much everything still exists in paper form and just gets scanned into the management system.

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