Fancy Moran was appointed clerk of Catoosa County Superior Court in September 2011 after the incumbent, Norman L. Stone, died of a heart attack.
But Moran's name won't show up on the July 31 ballot.
Moran is stepping aside -- and giving up a $30,000 pay increase -- because she wants her co-worker and friend Tracy H. Brown to have the Superior Court clerk job.
"I had the option to run," Moran said. "But I can't do that to her."
Two years ago, Stone gathered his employees together to see who wanted to succeed him because he planned to retire.
"Tracy spoke up and said she would like to run," Moran said.
Stone was 72 when he died and had almost 44 years in office.
"We were like a family. He was more like a father than a boss," said Moran, 43, who has 14 years in the six-person office.
"I never believed he would retire," Moran said. Stone had talked about retirement before and "I just thought he would change his mind again," she said.
Moran was chief deputy clerk when Stone died. As second in command, she had the option of stepping into take his place.
"If she hadn't have done that, we'd have to do a special election," said Brown, who has worked for 18 years in the Superior Court clerk's office.
The promotion boosted Moran's pay by about $30,000 annually. Word has gotten around, and both women are hearing comments from people surprised to hear she is supporting Brown.
"They are surprised. It's not your normal thing," Brown said.
Moran said the situation has drawn attention, but she shrugs it off.
"We have a really great friendship. We're both good Christian women," Moran said. "I'm following my heart, and I'm following what the Lord tells me to do."
Brown is one of three Republican candidates for Superior Court clerk. The others are Michael E. Caldwell and Daniel McMurray.
No Democrats are seeking county office in Catoosa County.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.