COLUMBIA — The Republican Party has selected a new candidate to run for Boone County recorder of deeds.
Lisa Ballenger, who is now the deputy recorder and a 23-year employee of the recorder's office, was selected Monday. Ballenger will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot against either Nora Dietzel or Lois Miller, who are Democrats competing in the Aug. 5 primary. The eventual winner will replace Bettie Johnson, who is not seeking re-election.
The Republican Central Committee held a special meeting to select a new candidate for the county office after Wes Upchurch was declared ineligible for the office in May because of unpaid taxes. The deadline to pick a new candidate was June 10.
"I've had regret of not filing in March this whole time," Ballenger said. "I've had to live with that decision up to this point. When Mr. Upchurch was disqualified from the race, I saw a window of opportunity, and I took it."
Ballenger was selected over Kari Stuart of U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer's office. County Chairman C. Bruce Cornett said in a news release that he was "very pleased" with the two GOP candidates the committee had to choose from.
"It was a shame we could only pick one," he said in a news release.
Ballenger said she is looking forward to serving Boone County to the best of her ability by continuing to provide good service to people and small businesses.
"I have been taught by a very good leader and given a chance to learn the office from the top to the bottom," she said. "I have a pretty good idea of how things are run. We're all cross-trained in all aspects of the office."
The recorder of deeds issues marriage licenses, makes record of documents — particularly those related to real estate — and provides data regarding real estate transactions.
All three candidates are co-workers at the recorder's office. The winner of the election will replace Johnson, who is retiring at the end of 2014 after serving as Recorder of Deeds for 35 years. Johnson is the longest-serving elected official in Boone County.
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.