Hendren to focus on her work with clients

Incumbent public administrator defeats Larry Fowler in Democratic primary.
Wednesday, August 4, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:36 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Discussing her career goals, Boone County public administrator Connie Hendren often adheres to a cliché — what’s not broken, there is no need to fix.

As she prepares to face Republican challenger John Sullivan in November’s general election, Hendren’s campaign platform will focus on her ability to continue to work with clients the same way she has for the past 12 years.

Hendren, 54, a certified public accountant defeated her Democratic opponent Larry Fowler, 56, a certified nurse, during Tuesday’s primary election. The public administrator is in charge of the finances, accounts and properties of mentally impaired and developmentally disabled clients appointed to her guardianship by the courts. Hendren works with nearly 300 clients, many of whom need constant medical care or live in residential care facilities. The public administrator earns about $70,000 a year.

As she has done in the past, Hendren said if re-elected, she will continue to keep her cell phone on 24 hours a day in order to make medical decisions or help her clients in other ways.

“I will just keep working hard and asking people to vote for me,” she said.

Hendren is bonded for the more than $6.6 million in client assets she manages. Her office writes nearly 1,400 checks each month for clients’ bills and expenses.

Fowler’s campaign centered on the idea that Hendren lacks a human element when dealing with her clients, relying on numbers and checkbooks rather than their emotions.

Sullivan owns Sullivan & Associates insurance company. He has also worked as a nursing home administrator and as the city manager of Aurora. He has said that his experience with Medicare and Medicaid will help him manage the clients’ assets if he is elected.

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