Incumbent Brenda Hamilton secured the Democratic nomination for Roanoke Circuit Court clerk in Tuesday’s primary, and is now poised to enter her third term in the position.

Hamilton carried just over three-fourths of 2,228 ballots, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. She bested Terri Price, 40, a senior probation and parole officer, for their party’s nod to run this fall.

No Republicans sought a nomination for the office and no independent hopeful came forward by the Tuesday evening deadline, which means Hamilton can run unopposed Nov. 5.

Hamilton, 65, first came to work in the office in 1976 as a deputy clerk. She was elected its chief in 2003, then ran unopposed in 2011. If she completes a third term she will have just over 50 years’ experience within the office, with roughly half of that time as its head.

Her primary campaign was aggressive. She announced in early January and raised well over $20,000 in contributions, using her funds toward yard signs and elaborate mailers but also a television commercial and extensive advertising on social media, including Facebook and Instagram ads.

“The primary is where it all begins,” Hamilton said last week. “It should be treated the same way as the general election.”

She could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

Clerk of court is a plum position, an eight-year term that in Roanoke pays an annual minimum of more than $132,000.

The chief clerk supervises more than 20 deputy clerks and is responsible for recording city deeds, issuing marriage licenses, creating and preserving court records, and deciding probate issues.

Voting hit a brief snag early Tuesday when computer problems temporarily prevented poll workers from conducting sign-ins. That issue was resolved by around 9:30 a.m.

During that down time, voters could opt to cast provisional ballots. City registrar Andrew Cochran said approximately 368 provisional ballots were entered. Those must be reviewed Wednesday by the city’s electoral board, and once approved they will be added to the total, but they are not enough in number to affect the outcome of the primary.

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Neil Harvey covers state courts in Franklin County and the cities of Roanoke and Salem. Follow him on Twitter @newsharvey

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