Longtime Lake County recorder launches campaign for new office

  • Mary Ellen Vanderventer

    Mary Ellen Vanderventer

  • Robin O'Connor

    Robin O'Connor

Updated 5/3/2021 7:16 PM

The election isn't until November 2022, but one candidate officially launched her campaign Monday for what will be a new office in Lake County.

Longtime Recorder of Deeds Mary Ellen Vanderventer, who in November was elected to a seventh term, announced she'll be running for the newly combined office of recorder and county clerk.


Voters in November overwhelmingly approved a measure to eliminate the elected position of recorder of deeds and merge the office under the county clerk effective late next year.

"I am extremely proud of all that my staff and I have achieved these last 26 years in the recorder's office," she said in a news release.

"And my 10 years as elections administrator in the county clerk's office, running 26 national, state and local elections, makes me the best person to facilitate the consolidation of these two offices."

The merger is to be finalized by Dec. 1, 2022, when the elected recorder position will disappear. Vanderventer's win last November was for a 2-year term rather than the traditional four years.

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The recorder's office keeps real estate transactions, military discharge papers and other documents; the clerk's office oversees elections and maintains birth, marriage and death records, among others. Those duties will continue.

In November 2018, Robin O'Connor, then a Libertyville Township trustee, defeated incumbent Republican Carla Wyckoff for a 4-year term as county clerk.

O'Connor on Monday said she is excited to be running for the merged office but did not elaborate. Both O'Connor and Vanderventer, of Waukegan, are Democrats.

Vanderventer started her career in the county clerk's office. Well before the last election, she suggested the responsibilities of the recorder and clerk should be merged. The county board agreed, and the question was put on the ballot.


"My goal has been to provide outstanding service to residents, while maintaining a focus on cost-effective improvements," Vanderventer said in the release.

"There will be no learning curve for me. This new position will be a perfect fit, and the transition will be smooth."

During the 2020 campaign for recorder, Vanderventer said the consolidation would be a seamless and positive experience for Lake County residents, customers and clients, and employees from both offices.

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