Editorial | For the Republicans: Matt Grandone

Editorial | For the Republicans: Matt Grandone

Incumbent Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten kicked off a competitive contest to succeed him when he decided to look for a greener political pasture.

With County Clerk Gordy Hulten seeking election to the newly created office of county executive in November, two local Republicans — deputy clerk Matt Grandone and county board member Jon Rector — are vying for their party's nod to succeed Hulten.

Both candidates bring a wealth of experience — though different kinds of experience — to the campaign, making it a close call for GOP voters. The winner will take on Democrat Aaron Ammons in the November election.

Our choice is Grandone. His experience in the office working under Hulten gives him a leg up.

Much of the campaign debate about the relative qualifications of the candidates has focused on the experience each brings to the race.

Grandone has been endorsed by Hulten, who argues that his subordinate's more than three years working in the office gives him an advantage.

Rector has been endorsed by former county clerk and current Recorder of Deeds Mark Shelden, who cited Rector's broader background as decisive. Further, Shelden, noting he had no background in the clerk's office when he was appointed to fill a vacancy created years ago by the resignation of county Clerk Dennis Bing, asserts that experience in the office is not necessary to be successful in the office.

Shelden suggests that being a quick study and having a willingness to hard work are all that's necessary.

Shelden makes a good argument, although there are limits to it.

He notes correctly that he, having no experience, performed well in the office. Further, Hulten also has done well, even though he, too, came in as a rookie.

But experience has to mean something, particularly when the candidates appear to be otherwise relatively equal.

Both candidates are committed to providing good, solid service to those who need the assistance of the county clerk. They are devoted to running efficient, error-free elections that make voting convenient.

The News-Gazette has no concerns about either candidate's ability to do the job. So it's pick 'em. Given that mandate, our recommendation is that GOP voters back Grandone in the March 20 primary.

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scott_tapley wrote on March 02, 2018 at 8:03 am

Since this is also a political decision being made by Republican voters about which candidate would best represent the Republican Party, it is also worth noting that one of the candidates has voted in the last 30+ elections and the has only voted 3 times.