Robert Fulton said he did a lot of thinking and a lot of praying.
And in the end he tossed his hat into the political ring.
Fulton is a write-in candidate for Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk on the Aug. 2 ballot.
He said he was “approached by many people who weren’t happy about the choices they had on the ballot.”
“I never thought I would throw my name into politics,” Fulton said.
And as a write-in, he’s taking a hard road in the race.
While there numerous issues Fulton said he will address if elected, getting to that point is going to be the battle.
“I wouldn’t have run if I didn’t think I could win,” he said. “But the key is letting people know I’m a write-in candidate.”
When a voter goes to the ballot on election day — or for early voting — they will see the Anderson County Circuit Court race and there will be one name: Fulton’s Republican opponent Rex Lynch.
They will also see “Write-In.”
Those wishing to vote for Fulton have to click the “Write-In” selection and follow the prompts — which eventually ask you to spell the candidate’s name.
Fulton said he tried to make his part of the process as easy as possible.
“I was asked how I should be listed,” he said. “My name is Robert, but people call me Bobby. Mostly people just call me ‘Fulton.’
“If a voter gets close to that the vote will be counted.”
Fulton noted he was told “close” spellings will be counted. But, he said, don’t expect to put “John Smith” down and expect your vote to counted.
“I won’t be getting any votes for John Smith,” he laughed.
“You know, they don’t even count those votes unless they match a name. In my research I’ve found that there have been elections where Mickey Mouse would have been voted into an office except those votes aren’t counted,” he said.
And that, again, is the main reason Fulton said he is running for Anderson County Circuit Court Clerk: So voters will have a choice.
Fulton also cautioned that some voters may be confused by the office name — Circuit Court Clerk in not Anderson County Clerk. “That’s an entirely different office,” he pointed out.
Fulton urges voters who may feel unsure about any process in casting their ballot to ask a poll worker for help.
“That’s what they’re there for, to help voters understand the process,” he said.
As far as his plans if elected Fulton said there are a couple of things he will implement.
For starters he will train staff to collect court costs.
“Sometimes a person goes through the court system and they get hit with probation and ‘court costs.’ And that’s the last anyone sees of them unless they get in trouble again. The Circuit Court Clerk has to be aggressive in collecting those fees,” he said.
“People who have to pay court costs should be able to pay $10 a month, but then once income tax return season rolls around, they should be able to pay off what they owe.”
He said there are “thousands” of dollars in uncollected court costs every year.
“People forget unless they get a reminder. You have to send them a bill and tell them, ‘This is what you owe.’”
He also sad he will not fire anybody if elected. He said he wants to see what everybody can do, see their strengths and go from there.
Fulton’s family owned and operated Fulton’s TV in Clinton for numerous years.
His wife, Kimberly Fulton is in the Army. He has one son, Parker, 18, and three stepsons, Xavier, Sebastian, and Zander.