Joe Tirio will be the next McHenry County clerk, according to unofficial election results.
With 93 percent of precincts reporting at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Tirio had captured 56.6 percent (39,856 votes) to Democratic challenger Andrew Georgi’s 43.4 percent (30,536).
“I am grateful to the score of volunteers, for the thousands of hours that went into this campaign, to my campaign operations manager, Cyndi Hemauer, and most of all, my wife, Karen,” Tirio said in a statement. “This campaign has been particularly unkind, and she has been put through more than one could ever expect – truly my better half and partner.”
The sitting McHenry County recorder thanked local voters for their support.
“I will not let you down,” Tirio said. “To the employees of the recorder’s office, thank you for following me this far. I applaud your commitment to making our work and workplace better than ever.”
Before the Tuesday election, Tirio announced he would keep both jobs and leave the recorder's $105,000 salary on the table. The clerk earns $109,000 a year. Tirio said holding both offices and taking one salary is in line with his promise to save taxpayers money by consolidating the recorder's office.
In March, McHenry County residents overwhelmingly voted to eliminate the recorder’s office and fold it into the clerk’s office. The office will cease to exist Dec. 1, 2020.
The county clerk’s office now is held by Mary McClellan. Tirio said he’s looking forward to working with the clerk’s office staff.
“I can’t wait to get to know you and work with you,” Tirio said. “When we work together, there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.”
Last year, McClellan announced that she would not seek a second term so she could run to fill the seat of former Judge Maureen McIntyre. She lost the race for that seat in the March primary.
As the chief election authority, the county clerk is mandated to provide voter and candidate services and to administer elections in an unbiased and efficient manner.