Alexandria, Va., gay attorney Greg Parks emerged as the clear winner Tuesday night in his race in the Democratic primary for the position of Alexandria Clerk of Court.
Parks defeated Democratic rival Ben Ortiz Jr. by capturing 4,192 votes, or 55.9 percent, compared to the 3,299 votes, or 44.04 percent received by Ortiz.
It couldn’t immediately be determined who or whether Parks will face a Republican challenger in the November general election. With the City of Alexandria being a heavily Democratic stronghold, Parks is considered the strong favorite to win election to the Clerk of Court position in the general election.
According to the website of the Alexandria Circuit Court, for which the Clerk of Court works, the Clerk of Court carries out dozens of administrative functions and duties that include providing administrative support for judges in all civil and criminal cases.
Other duties include maintaining and processing land records, handling probate matters, issuing marriage licenses and overseeing divorce proceeding, arranging for legal name changes, maintaining historic records and statistics for the city, and administering the oath of office to elected and appointed officials.
The Clerk of Court has a term of office of eight years.
Parks received endorsements from Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, former Mayor Bill Euille, and all members of the Alexandria City Council. He also received the endorsements of gay Virginia State Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria-Arlington) and gay Virginia State Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria).
He has worked as an attorney for federal government agencies for more than 20 years. He has been active in recent years in local civic endeavors that include serving on the Alexandria Human Rights Commission and the Economic Opportunity Commission. He is a member of the Arlington/Alexandria Gay and Lesbian Alliance.
Parks told the Blade during his campaign that, if elected, he plans to take steps to modernize and upgrade the court’s computer and case filing system. He said he would also ensure that all members of the public, including LGBT people who may be applying for a same-sex marriage license or a transgender person who applies for a name change, are treated with “full dignity and respect.”