Desmond to seek re-election

By Joe Bush

Terry Desmond, DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder, announced Tuesday he will seek a fourth term next fall in the Illinois general elections.

Desmond, first elected in 1978, said he has enjoyed the personal aspect of the job, and will ask the voters to judge him on past performance.

“I’m running on my record,” Desmond said. “I hope the voters of DeKalb County will see fit to grant me another chance to serve them. You’re never confident when you’re an elected official. Your continued livelihood is based on the attitudes of the voters.”

The office administrates election processes such as voter registration, sets tax rates for 125 DeKalb County governmental units, keeps all county records (birth, death, marriage and county board proceedings), historical and present, and is the recorder of deeds.

Since 1978, Desmond and his staff have started computerizing the records and has adjusted to the state legislature’s consolidation of local elections in 1981. Previously, the office’s election administration was limited to presidential and general elections every two years.

NIU provides both an extra challenge and a valuable aid to the election responsibilities, Desmond said.

Because of the nature of NIU’s population, DeKalb County handles more new voting registrations than some larger northern Illinois counties. Students leaving the county due to graduation or other reasons rarely notify the office, Desmond said, adding that 8,000 names were taken off the registration list recently.

The office hires, through the Student Association, between 20 and 30 students as student registrars, he said.

Under Desmond, the office’s budget has grown minimally, despite salary increases, because of cutbacks such as in-house printing of election materials and in-house election judge training.

Desmond was recently considered, but not chosen, to run for lieutenant governor alongside gubernatorial candidate Neil Hartigan. Desmond said he would have been “enthused” to have been chosen, and in the future would still be “if my party (Democratic) sees me as deserving.”