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Bobby Conner to retire as Circuit Court clerk

Robert W. “Bobby” Conner, Clerk of Court for Halifax County Circuit Court for nearly a quarter of a century, has announced his retirement effective Dec. 31.

In a letter dated Friday, Conner explained his reasons for retiring, including his age, health and desire to “spend time with his wife and family on our family farms.”

“My two sons and six grandchildren are the fifth generation to live and work on these farms,” he said. “I want to spend my remaining years there working on my shop projects – my little piece of heaven.”

“It has been a pleasure to serve under approximately 30 different circuit court judges, five elected sheriffs and countless attorneys,” Conner continued.

“The experiences I treasure most are helping the people of Halifax County with their courthouse business and trying to explain the complexity of the legal system.

“Rest assured, the great staff at the clerk’s office, led by my Chief Deputy Clerk, Cathy Cosby, will continue to assist the citizens of Halifax County wherever needed.”

According to Conner, Virginia Code requires that the chief deputy clerk serve on an interim basis until a special election is held with a date to be determined by circuit court judges.

Cosby confirmed Friday she would run in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Conner.

And if elected, Cosby said she plans to run for a full eight-year term as Halifax County Circuit Court Clerk in 2015.

Conner recalled headlines in an adjoining county newspaper in 1988 stating, “What will happen next in Halifax County – they just appointed a farmer to be the next circuit court clerk?”

“The local legal community was in a state of shock as well.  But, thanks to Judge Charles L. McCormick III, who appointed me to a vacant position and to a great staff, my transformation into an acceptable clerk was underway,” Conner said. “Acceptable enough that I have been privileged to run unopposed for these last 25 years.

“Running unopposed as an elected official is a gift most politicians only dream of.

“Thank you, thank you,” Conner said.

The time has come to move on, Conner noted.

“I plan to stay involved in Halifax County.  The county has been very good to my family and to me.

“Who knows where I may reappear again.  Thank you again to all the citizens of Halifax County,” he concluded.

Conner retired last year as Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative’s chairman of the board and director after 30 years of service.

Conner recently was honored by the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives with the 2013 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award.

This award is the association’s highest honor and has been established to recognize individuals who have been instrumental in the development of rural electrification within the family of electric cooperatives in the three-state region.

In addition to his service with Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, Conner has spent years serving on numerous boards, committees and groups of influence including the Halifax Regional Hospital Board, Triangle Volunteer Fire Department and Carter Bank and Trust.

A lifelong farmer, Conner was instrumental in forming the Southside Virginia Produce Cooperative as he worked to improve his entire region’s economy.

He and his wife, Lucy, live in Nathalie and have been married for over half a century.

They have three children, Katherine Lusk, David and Richard Conner, and the couple has seven grandchildren.