Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rodgers reappointed to serve as administrator of Knox Co. elections

Cliff Rodgers (Photo: Knox County)
The Knox County Election Commission on Thursday unanimously reappointed Cliff Rodgers to serve another two years as the administrator of elections.

“I’m pleased to continue this opportunity to serve the citizens of Knox County, and I’m very proud of what we’ve all accomplished during the last four years and confident we can continue to administer fair, open and honest elections,” Rodgers said. “I have a dedicated staff, and hundreds of hard working and diligent elections officials who help us ensure the integrity of the ballot box.”

The five-member commission also reappointed Chris Heagerty, a Republican, to serve as its chairman and Cassandra McGee Stuart, a Democrat, to serve as its secretary.

Rodgers, 61, first took over the office in April 2011, succeeding long-time administrator Greg Mackay, a Democrat, after officials ousted him over political differences.

Rodgers cited increased training for his crew as one of his top achievements during the past four years.

“We now have a pool of well-trained election officials and we will continue to have classes as we add people on,” he said.

Rodgers joked: “The other thing that stands out is that we really try to stay out of the newspapers. We don’t want to be in there for the wrong reasons and I don’t think we have been. We like to be in the newspaper explaining the process and let the candidates be on the front page. We like to stay it the background.”

Rodgers, who earns $121,564 annually, runs an office with a roughly $1.7 million budget.

This year the office will oversee two city elections and possibly one special election tied to state Rep. Ryan Haynes stepping down to serve as chairman for the state GOP. Rodgers said his office is working with the state to see if the special election can be held on the same day as one of the municipal ones.

Next year will feature the presidential and county elections.

Rodgers is a Knoxville native and long-time attorney whose past civil law practice focused primarily on state and federal litigation. During the mid-1980s through 2007, he served as a law clerk for the late Senior U.S. District Judge James Jarvis and Chief U.S. District Judge Curtis L. Collier.

Rogers received his law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law.

In addition to the appointments on Thursday, the commission also agreed to move Precinct No. 46 out of West Hills Elementary School and across the street to the Knoxville First Church of the Nazarene.

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