Chaplin wins Democratic nod in three-way race for DuPage County recorder

DuPage County Board member Liz Chaplin emerged as the favorite Tuesday in a three-way race for the Democratic nod for county recorder.

With 98.1% of Election Day votes tallied, unofficial counts showed Chaplin in the lead with 30,446 votes as of 10:30 p.m. Incumbent Kathleen Carrier and former county board member Pete DiCianni trailed with 18,113 and 11,603 votes, respectively.

“I think over 20 years of advocating on behalf of the people … really helped propel this win,” Chaplin said late Tuesday. “I hope that I can work to make things a little better over at the recorder’s office.”

Chaplin will square off against Republican Nicole Prater in the November election.

DiCianni, a former Republican, and Chaplin, a longtime Democrat, said it was time for change in the recorder’s office and that it had grown stagnant.

Both said the office has “slipped” under Carrier’s leadership and vowed to do more to reach out to the community and make the recorder’s office more relevant to residents.

Carrier, who was seeking her second term, said county recorders across the state reach out to her for advice or to hear what her office is doing. She said a veteran’s fair started by her predecessor has expanded, and she has worked with technology companies to update software.

During the campaign, Chaplin said strict office policies — such as a ban on cellphones at desks or not allowing employees to use earbuds to listen to music while working — have led to low morale in the office. Carrier defended the policies, saying employees can use their phones and earbuds during breaks. DiCianni agreed with the policies, saying he would not want employees on their phones while working.

Chaplin, who once pushed for a plan to ask voters if the recorder’s office should merge with the county clerk, said she would not stand in the way of a referendum if the county board sought to take the issue to voters.

However, she said she did not believe the current county board had the desire to pursue the merger idea anytime soon.

DiCianni and Carrier maintained the office should remain separate from the county clerk.

The recorder’s office is responsible for all property records, including deeds, liens and plats, and some military records.

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