The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Politics

June 12, 2014

Spencer to run for county clerk

Democrat to challenge incumbent Likens

Former Madison County Circuit Court Judge Fred Spencer is filling out the Madison County Democrat Party ballot for November’s general election.

Spencer, 76, announced Thursday his candidacy for the office of Madison County Clerk. He will be running against incumbent Republican Darlene Likens, who is seeking a second term in the clerk’s office.

With Spencer’s decision to run for clerk, the Democrat Party has filled most of the ballot vacancies in the general election. The party had until June 30 to fill the clerk’s vacancy.

The only vacancies are for Judge of Circuit Court Division 1 against incumbent Angela Warner Sims and Circuit Court Division 4 against incumbent David Happe.

His nomination for the clerk’s office was finalized during a caucus of the Democrat Party over the past weekend.

Spencer was elected to five terms as Circuit Court judge, serving 26 years and nine months. He retired from the bench in September 2009.

He was contacted by Democrat Party chairman Ludy Watkins about running for the clerk’s position earlier this year.

“I was willing to do it,” Spencer said. “I’m certainly qualified for the position. I have made a career of helping people. I believe it’s a good fit.”

Spencer said the clerk’s position is not as stressful as serving as a judge, but there is a lot of work to do.

He plans to announce the formation of a campaign committee in the near future.

At the time he retired as judge, Spencer didn’t rule out another run for elective office.

“I didn’t plan to be on the ballot,” Spencer said of his candidacy for clerk. “People thought I would be an asset to the ticket.”

Spencer said he is in good health and works out three times a week.

“I feel I’m up to the challenge,” he said.

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