Contra Costa County residents are deciding one of the most impactful public positions at the local level in this general election.
Kristin Connelly and Vicki Gordon -- both of whom have elected experience in education -- are competing in a runoff for county clerk-recorder.
Most recognizably, this official oversees the county department that runs elections, such a vital responsibility in our democracy. But also very important to citizens' everyday lives are the office's duties as county recorder (property and real estate documents) and county clerk (marriage, birth and death certificates and fictitious business name processing).
This is the first election for the office since former clerk-recorder Joe Canciamilla, also a former state assemblyman and county supervisor, resigned in disgrace in November 2019 and later pleaded guilty to grand theft and perjury for using his candidacy campaign funds for personal reasons. Danville resident Debi Cooper has been filling the clerk-recorder role admirably since being appointed by the Board of Supervisors 2-1/2 years ago.
But it is time for the voters of Contra Costa County to have their voices heard about who should be the next clerk-recorder. That person should represent integrity, leadership and stability. That candidate is Kristin Connelly.
Connelly, who finished first in the four-candidate primary election with 33.90% of the vote, is winding down her current term on the Acalanes Union High School District Governing Board while also working as CEO and president of the East Bay Leadership Council and executive director of the Contra Costa Economic Partnership. Her professional experience as an effective day-to-day leader of an organization stands out, and is exactly what the Clerk-Recorder's Office needs.
Her campaign objectives on the election side of the office align with the priorities of so many Contra Costa County residents – expanding access to voting, improving communication with voters, battling misinformation and disinformation, and maintaining the integrity of an accurate ballot count. Connelly also wisely highlights the importance of ensuring recorder's documents (and the associated personal information therein) remain secure.
Gordon, the runnerup in the primary with 23.52% of the vote, espouses similar goals for Clerk-Recorder's Office if elected, with a particular focus on community trust and engagement, voter transparency, strong cybersecurity and impartiality. Certainly laudable priorities. But this county department needs stability in leadership, and we remain skeptical of Gordon given the cloud of controversy that hovered around her final term with the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board, ultimately leading to her reelection defeat in November 2020.
We recommend Connelly, the reliable choice for Contra Costa County clerk-recorder.