Endorsement: Yarbrough for the Democratic nomination for Cook County clerk.
The Cook County clerk's office is in store for some big changes, and not only because Clerk David Orr is stepping down after more than 17 years leading the office. Voters in 2016 backed a binding referendum to merge the office with that of the recorder of deeds, a move proponents say will reduce government inefficiency and save taxpayers as much as $1 million a year.
Who oversees the transition, along with the other challenges faced by the clerk's office, could come down to the March 20 Democratic primary. The contest pits current Recorder of Deeds Karen A. Yarbrough -- who opposed the merger -- against attorney Jan Kowalski McDonald of LaGrange. Both take seriously the threat of hackers to our elections -- the clerk oversees vote counts in the suburbs -- though we prefer Yarbrough's solution that blends the latest technology with old-school paper ballots to McDonald's call for a complete return to paper.
But what ultimately sets Yarbrough apart is experience. Despite her opposition to the merger, Yarbrough's eight years of experience leading a large county office that deals with records gives her a substantial edge when it comes to guiding a smooth blend of two agencies and their more than 400 workers.
We endorse Yarbrough.