WINFIELD -- The wife of the recently deceased Putnam County Circuit Clerk has been appointed to serve out the rest of his term.

Nina Wright was appointed Oct. 30 by Chief Putnam Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski with concurrence from Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.

Don Wright, 77, passed away Oct. 13 after battling cancer. Nina Wright was sworn in Oct. 30 and began her duties.

"Nina Wright is an outstanding, experienced and qualified public official," Eagloski said in a press release announcing the appointment. "She will carry on her late husband's work with pride and dedication."

Nina Wright will serve until Dec. 31, 2008, when the successful candidate for the unexpired term will take office. Darlene Smith, office manager of the Circuit Clerk's office, had been the interim clerk since Don Wright's passing. Smith, however, could not be appointed as the replacement because it had to go to someone of the same party of Don Wright, who was a Republican.

Nina Wright served eight years as matron of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, then 12 years in the tax department of the sheriff's office under Sheriffs Delbert Harrison, Stan Farley and Mark Smith. She recently retired as deputy clerk of the tax office.

"There were many qualified candidates for the job, and I discussed this appointment with residents and officials throughout the county," Eagloski said. "In the end, it was decided that Nina Wright was the right choice to fill the position."

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