Stiff Competition | At 86, Powhatan County’s clerk of the court, Bill Maxey, is running one last time.Style Weekly : Richmond's alternative for news, arts, culture and opinion
...William Maxey Jr. has served 50 years as Powhatan County's clerk of the court.He's
running for another eight-year term.
At 86, Powhatan County's
clerk of the court, Bill Maxey
, is running one last time.
tidy office in the Powhatan Circuit Court building, William Maxey Jr.
fishes a photograph from the pocket of his
sports coat hanging from a rack.The bent picture shows an elaborate cake shaped like the courts building with a red-frosting roof, freestanding pillars and a figurine in a fedora that represents Maxey
"That's what my wife's daughter made me when I finished my first 50 years," he
The cake was the centerpiece at a reception earlier this year commemorating his
half century of public service.At 86, Maxey
has served six eight-year terms - and one initial two-year appointment - as the county's clerk of the court.
And this November, he's
"I don't hunt.I don't fish.I don't golf," Maxey
says.Retirement?"I couldn't stand it," he
says."I'd have nothing to do.I'd rather have this than anything else."Maxey's
seen the county balloon from 5,562 residents to more than 22,000, and collected every housing deed, marriage license and fee or fine to come through the courthouse.He
recalls when county records were handwritten, he's
witnessed the evolution of typewriters and the eventual transition to computers.In 1992, his
office moved into the main building from a small cottage on the court's lawn.Maxey
tends to run unopposed.He
faced competition only once, in 1983, when Howard Clark and Robert Keeton both tried to win the seat.Keeton got 819 votes, Clark got 841, but Maxey
prevailed with 2,686.
asked them, laughing.
Jones says she
has nothing bad to say about Maxey
and points to his
stellar reputation in the county.But is he
too old for the job?
"I've never had to answer that question," Maxey
says.That may have to do with the crowd he
friend E. Floyd Yates says he's
"damnedest to see that [Maxey's] re-elected."He's
coordinating an advertisement for the local paper and plans to do a little fundraising.
Does Yates think Maxey
is too old?
...Maxey says he "barely" graduated from high school and served in the Army during World War II.He
went through basic training on the Santa Anita racetrack in Southern California and practiced maneuvers in the Mojave Desert.
close friendship with Yates, Maxey
has always run as an independent."It's worked all right so far," he
wins this next term, which, God willing, he
'll complete when he's
94, he says he'll finally retire. S
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