Joe Tirio takes Republican nomination for McHenry County clerk

Recorder responsibilities could be merged with county clerk's duties

Joe Tirio has won the Republican nomination for the McHenry County clerk seat and will face Democratic challenger Andrew “Drew” Georgi Jr. in the November election.

Tirio, of Woodstock, received the nomination Tuesday with 56.2 percent of the vote, according to unofficial voting results.

Tirio currently is the McHenry County recorder, but voters Tuesday cast ballots in favor of the elimination of the office Dec. 1, 2020, through a binding referendum. Recorder responsibilities could be merged with the county clerk’s duties.

Tirio ran for the recorder’s office in 2016 with the intent to abolish the role. He said between now and the November election, he plans to educate voters on what he can offer in the county clerk role.

“I think I [will be] helping the voters understand better what I bring to the table, my experience and prior accomplishments in office,” he said. “And looking at ways to improve things – for one, the election process.”

The county clerk’s office is responsible for supervising elections and voter registration; maintaining birth, death and marriage certificates; maintaining County Board records; and taking the minutes and roll call at its voting meetings.

If Tirio takes the clerk office in November’s election, he must resign his position as recorder with two years left on his term. Under state statute, the County Board would have to appoint someone to fill the role for the remaining two years, but there is no law that dictates penalties if the position isn’t filled.

Tirio won the primary with 13,312 votes over opponent and former McHenry City Clerk Janice Dalton’s 10,372 votes, according to unofficial results.

McHenry County Clerk Mary McClellan isn’t seeking re-election – instead, she ran for circuit court judge.

Dalton faced scrutiny on the campaign trail because she filed for bankruptcy the same day she filed to run for clerk.

Her Chapter 7 personal bankruptcy filing listed $10,000 in video gambling losses and $30,000 that she withdrew in her husband’s name from his annuity funds.

Dalton has 16 years of experience as clerk for the city of McHenry and called for Tirio’s withdrawal from the race because of his donations to Orville Brettman – a McHenry County Board candidate tied to a right-wing extremist group called the Legion of Justice.

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