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The longtime deputy clerk of the Montana Supreme Court has filed to replace his boss in the November elections.

Rex Renk, a Helena Democrat, filed on Thursday in the statewide race for clerk of the Supreme Court. So far, he is the only candidate.

The current clerk, Ed Smith, is retiring when his term expires in January 2019. Smith served in the elected position for 30 years.

Renk announced his candidacy in a press release Thursday. His campaign will be guided by a 56-person steering committee, which includes six former Montana Supreme Court justices, according to the press release.

Renk has worked as deputy clerk for 23 years. He was appointed in 1991 by Smith, but took a three-year hiatus in the 1990s to pursue a doctoral degree, which he decided not to complete, he said in an interview Thursday.

Renk has a bachelor’s degree in history from Carroll College and a master’s degree in history of the American West from Washington State University.

The clerk position is a partisan race. The terms are six years.

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