Knox County Clerk candidates explain their plans for the office

Knox County Clerk candidates explain their plans for the office

Mike Padgett Mike Padgett
Foster Arnett Foster Arnett
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A big race in Knox County pits the former county clerk against the current county clerk. There have been accusations between the two during this campaign season.

Both candidates tell 6 News they are confident they will win the August 7 election.

The Knox County clerk keeps records of marriage licenses and auto titles issued in the county. The clerk also collects fees for motor vehicle registration and drivers' license renewals.

Mike Padgett, a Democrat, was the Knox County Clerk for 21 years and had to leave when term limits were implemented. 6 News asked Padgett how his time in office was beneficial for residents.

“I covered north, south, east and west with these substations. It was a tremendous help on the people, the people's time and their gas,” said Padgett.

Web Extra: Full interview with Mike Padgett [Video]

Republican incumbent Foster Arnett has held the office for the past six years. 6 News asked Arnett how he's helped residents.

“When we got here there was between 130 to 140 employees. The budget was $900,000. Now we have 86 employees and we cut our budget to right around $300,000.

Web Extra: Full Interview with Foster Arnett [Video]

Padgett says if elected he will reduce long lines, extend hours of service and improve employee morale.

“The people they are not happy. They don't like the operation, the way it's running,” said Padgett.

Arnett says there are only longer wait times at the end of the month. He says he doesn’t believe the changes Padgett wants to make are not possible without spending more money.

“I don't know how my opponent would extend hours with the budget that is now in place and the employees that are in place,” said Arnett.

Arnett says if reelected, he will add another drive-through window at a substation. He says employees will also continue training.

Padgett says if elected he will also work to have birth and death certificates available at the clerk's office.

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