Becky Moller challenges longtime Garfield County Clerk’s Office worker Jackie Harmon in November election
Editor’s note: This continues our ongoing series of articles in the coming weeks touching on the issues in the contested races for Garfield County elected offices that will be decided in the Nov. 8 election.
For the first time in a dozen years, the race for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder is without an incumbent, but as has often been the case during that span of time, there will be a contest to decide the county’s chief election official and records keeper.
Democrat Becky Moller of Carbondale officially declared as a candidate in time to run unopposed in the June 28 primary election. She will join Republican Jackie Harmon, a 20-year veteran of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office, on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Harmon declared her intentions in early March, and is seeking to replace her longtime boss, Democrat Jean Alberico.
Alberico is retiring in 2023 after serving 16 years in the elected office and working 20-plus years prior to that for her predecessor, Republican Mildred Alsdorf.
Experience matters, said Harmon, especially in an office charged with overseeing a wide variety of functions, from issuing vehicle registrations and recording real estate and motor vehicle transactions, issuing marriage licenses and keeping birth and death records, to keeping minutes for the Board of County Commissioners, and of course serving as the county’s chief elections official.
“I have talked a lot about experience, because it is important,” said Harmon, a Silt resident who is branch manager for the Rifle Clerk and Recorder’s Office annex.
“I know the operations and functions of the office and will continue to lean strongly on that experience,” she said.
Moller has operated her own paralegal business for seven years and previously worked for a water law firm for 10 years. She said she is used to doing business with the clerk and recorders offices in Eagle and Pitkin counties, mostly regarding property deeds.
She said she is quite familiar with the various functions of the office, and with an administrative background and having earned a master’s in business administration last year, said she considers herself qualified for the position.
“I have been an election judge for two municipal elections and completed my mediation training in 2019,” Moller said. She has worked as a volunteer mediator for Garfield and Eagle County small claims and county courts.
Moller said her motivation to run for Clerk and Recorder stemmed from her concern that no one else was running at a time when the political spotlight nationally has been on election integrity.
“With all the craziness around elections, I thought it was important to have somebody in there who can speak and be open about the election process and be a sounding board if there are any concerns.
“I really believe in openness and transparency in government,” she said. “And I don’t care what party you are from, don’t mess with our votes, and don’t mess with our democracy.”
Harmon said the Garfield County Clerk and Recorder’s Office has been and will continue to be apolitical.
“Our office is not politically involved and doesn’t have time to be,” she said. “We have a job to do as managers of the county records, and everything else that comes with this position.”
As for election integrity, Harmon said the key is to have fair representation across the political spectrum among the election judges and other officials who oversee elections at the local level.
“We need both sides to come in and help us run the elections, and we have to do so by following the laws and any new legislation that comes about,” she said. “I believe we have a good system here in Garfield County, and throughout the state of Colorado, and I say that confidently.”
Harmon added that the Clerk and Recorder’s Office is the best source of information about elections, rather than some sources that “may not be the best.”
From a functional standpoint, Moller said she also hopes to bring some changes to the office in terms of turn-around time for obtaining important documents, such as deeds and vehicle titles.
She noted the offices are closed to the public from noon to 1:30 p.m. when a lot of people who may need to do business with the Clerk and Recorder are on their lunch break.
“I think we can do some things to better serve those customers,” Moller said.
Harmon said paperwork delays can be a result of multiple factors, and aren’t necessarily related to the efficiency of the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
“If a customer comes in and needs paperwork, we’ll get that done and get them out the door as soon as possible,” she said. “If there’s a better way to do things, when I get in office, I’m certainly open to those conversations.”
Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or email@example.com.
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