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Kristen Nelson beat L.J. “Tu” Ritter II in Tuesday’s Republican primary election for York County and Poquoson’s circuit court clerk.
Nelson, who has worked in the clerk’s office for 18 years and was named acting clerk when Lynn Mendibur retired in August, beat Ritter by 2,427 votes.
Ritter, a loan consultant and small business owner who graduated from Christopher Newport University with a degree in business management, received 576 votes in York County and 132 in Poquoson. Nelson received 3,003 votes in York County and 734 in the city of Poquoson.
A total of 42,925 York County residents and 8,538 Poquoson residents were registered to vote in the primary, according to June 1 statistics from the Virginia State Board of Elections.
WYDaily was unable to reach Ritter or Nelson for comment Tuesday night.
Nelson’s endorsers reached out to the community in the days leading up to the primary through automated voice messages and on social media. During her campaign, she received the support of Del. Brenda Pogge (R-96) and Gordon Helsel (R-91), Commonwealth’s Attorney Ben Hahn, Sheriff J.D. “Danny” Diggs and Sen. Tommy Norment (R-3).
She is running uncontested in the Nov. 3 general election and said she is already busy making changes to the office.
She announced at a York-Poquoson Bar Association meeting in May she was working on employing a new jury management system that allows jurors to fill out questionnaires online, thereby minimizing the time it takes to select a jury.
In March, she announced the clerk’s office was equipped with the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Case Imaging System, which converts court-related documents into a digital format.
The circuit court clerk’s job entails handling all administrative matters for the court, probating wills, granting the administration of estates and appointing guardians. The clerk, who serves an eight-year term, is also in charge of keeping court and deed records and issuing marriage licenses.
The clerk covers both York County and Poquoson and is based out of the York-Poquoson Courthouse in Yorktown.