Early ballots don't change Vermilion recorder race

DANVILLE — Republican Thomas M. O'Shaughnessy of Catlin maintained the lead in the Vermilion County recorder of deed's race, even after Danville and the county's 3,786 early/absentee voter ballots were tabulated late Tuesday night.

O'Shaughnessy defeated Democratic challenger Nikki Bogart of Danville in the only contested race for a countywide office in Vermilion County.

Unofficial vote totals, which include early-voter ballots and those cast on Election Day, show that O'Shaughnessy, a partner at Acton & Snyder LLC, garnered 15,982 votes, while Bogart, the county's financial resources director, received 13,089.

Bogart picked up 1,897 votes from the early-voter ballots — eight more than O'Shaughnessy. But it wasn't enough to close O'Shaughnessy's 2,901-vote lead from the Election Day ballots.

The recorder's office is responsible for recording deeds, mortgages and other land documents and making them accessible to the public. On Tuesday, O'Shaughnessy said he doesn't believe he'll have a big learning curve when he takes over.

"I think I can hit the ground running. I know the office. I know the staff," he said, adding he gained an in-depth knowledge of the office from being a customer during his 30 years as a private practice attorney concentrating on residential and commercial real estate, among other areas.

While O'Shaughnessy said he needs to become familiar with administrative tasks, he's eager to dive in, and he believes the retiring officeholder, Barbara Young, and staff will help him make a smooth transition.

"As I tried to stress in the campaign, the recorder's office is a well-run office," he said, adding it would be a mistake to go in and make substantial changes. "I think everyone who has ever held and will hold that position wants to put their stamp on it. (But) the goal is to maintain open and accessible records, and ensure the records are secure from anyone who's attempting to interfere with people's property rights."

On Tuesday, Bogart, a former Vermilion County Board member in Districts 7 and 5, said  campaigning for the office was a rewarding experience. However, she said she was unsure whether she would run for elected office again.

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