Lauren Griffin becomes fourth candidate to enter clerk's race in Augusta County
STAUNTON - And then there were four.
Lauren Griffin, a longtime paralegal for the Augusta County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office, is entering the special election to become clerk of court for Augusta County.
In April, Augusta County Clerk Carol Brydge retired, paving the way for the special election. Since Brydge announced her retirement in February, four candidates have emerged. Del. Steve Landes is running as a Republican while the rest of the field — Carolyn Bragg, Miles Bobbitt and Griffin — will run as Independents in the Nov. 5th election.
Griffin, who graduated from Bridgewater College in 2001 after attending Stuarts Draft High School, said as the field in the clerk's race continued to grow she realized her years spent working in the court system could well serve the residents of Augusta County.
"I have firsthand experience in the courthouse," she said.
Griffin, 41, has been a paralegal for nearly 15 years, first with Augusta County prosecutor A. Lee Ervin and then Tim Martin, the current Augusta County commonwealth's attorney.
As a paralegal, she is responsible for trial preparation in all three of Augusta County's courts, creating sentencing guidelines, hunting down the prior convictions of defendants in other court systems, and managing time-sensitive materials such as lab certificates from the Department of Forensic Science.
"I create the files from the get go," Griffin said.
After patiently waiting on the sidelines, Griffin, who is married with two daughters, said she recently decided it was time for her to enter the clerk's race.
"I feel like my family and I, we're at a place where I could do it," she said.
Griffin has filed paperwork with the registrar's office and said she will soon start canvassing the county for votes. When asked about the crowded field vying for the open position, Griffin said, "I think it makes more of a level playing field. All I can do is give it my best."
While speaking with family and friends about her intentions to run, Griffin said the feedback has been nothing but positive.
"Everybody's encouraged me," she said.
While Griffin acknowledged that every candidate has positive attributes to bring to the table in this special election, she feels that her time spent working within the court system gives her the edge.
"I have the most direct experience," Griffin said.
The winner of the race will finish the last four years of Brydge's eight-year term, which ends in 2023.
Gina R. Coffey is currently serving as the county's interim clerk.