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Nora Dietzel wins Democratic primary for recorder of deeds

Tuesday, August 5, 2014 | 11:02 p.m. CDT; updated 11:17 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Nora Dietzel, center, talks with supporter Lynn Wapelhorst during Dietzel's election watch party Tuesday at the Heidelberg restaurant in Columbia. "I'm already having a lot of responsibilities in the office, this just seemed like a natural progression for me," Dietzel said.

COLUMBIA — Nora Dietzel won the Democratic primary for Boone County recorder of deeds. She defeated her opponent, Lois Miller, by a margin of 70 percent to 30 percent. The final vote total was 7,589 votes for Dietzel to 3,164 votes for Miller.

Dietzel will run against Republican Lisa Ballenger in the November general election. Ballenger ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

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REACTION: Dietzel said she was overwhelmed by the support from the county. However, she was also aware that her success meant defeat for her co-worker, Miller. All three candidates in the primary running to replace retiring Recorder Bettie Johnson, all now work in the recorder's office.

"I'm sorry that means a friend has to not get what she's worked hard for," Dietzel said. "I'm thinking about Lois at this moment, too."

Dietzel credited her success to her qualifications and credentials and said that when voters compare the records of the candidates, there was a clear choice.

She said the mood in the office Tuesday was far from subdued.

"Working with Lois and Lisa has been terrific. I can't think of any other office where it would work as well as it has for us," Dietzel said. "Today it was kind of like a party in our office. We were all celebrating the end of this phase of the process."

PRIORITIES: Dietzel primarily campaigned on her record, but said she also wants to improve the customer experience at the recorder's office. She wants to re-evaluate the office's disaster preparedness policies and update its website.

Ballenger didn't campaign in the primary but previously told the Missourian her passion for the county and its history makes her the ideal candidate.

CAMPAIGN STRATEGY: Dietzel said not much will change in her strategy for the general election. She plans to get in front of as many voters as possible and to listen to their concerns.

Ballenger said she will begin her campaign in earnest now that she knows her challenger.


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