Faced with 2 challengers, Clark County recorder incumbent seeks 3rd term

Clark County Recorder Debbie Conway faces two Democratic opponents in the June 10 primary, including a former high-level director who worked within the recorder’s office.

Conway is running for a third four-year term as county recorder, seeking the Democratic Party nomination against Laurel Jimenez and Travis Field. The winner will face Republican candidate Donald Hotchkiss Jr. in the Nov. 4 general election. Hotchkiss has no GOP primary opponents.

Jimenez said the office needs more accountability, including how the technology fund is spent. The fund is created with a $3 fee for every recording for technology purposes. For example, she questions a $3.1 million county contract that restores old books, saying it’s not a necessary expense as the records can be digitized.

“I have found grounds for criticism in the way the money has been spent,” she said.

Jimenez said she wants to look for ways to bring services to outlying regions such as Laughlin and Mesquite with kiosks, and explore possible interlocal agreements with outlying communities.

She also wants to use technology to provide email notifications to members of the public who sign up. Under the plan, someone could submit an email address and be notified of property transfers and other actions.

A county employee since 2004, Jimenez was a systems administrator for Las Vegas Justice Court and worked in the recorder’s office from 2006 to 2011 before transferring to the airport, where she does computer analysis and programming.

Conway said her record is one that shows a continuing use of technology. Examples include a kiosk for recording marriage certificates and a mobile phone app that allows users to look up records.

She said she wants to see kiosks in outlying cities so residents can record documents without making the trip to Las Vegas. Work on a prototype is underway, she said.

Conway been a county employee for about 25 years, working in jobs such as grants management, director of the Summer Business Institute program and small business development manager.

She acknowledged that there have been historic problems with the tech fund, but insists that all its expenditures are now proper and reported to commissioners.

“There’s been a total overhaul of how the tech fund is administered,” Conway said.

She said past problems were due to the prior recorder, Frances Deane. Deane was removed from office in 2006 for malfeasance and after being accused of illegally accepting more than $40,000 to sell copies of public information tied to her office. Deane later pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the case.

Field couldn’t be reached for comment.

In 2010, Conway won 52.5 percent of the vote in a four-way race with a Republican opponent and two third-party candidates.

Two third-party candidates are running in this year’s general election: Libertarian Douglas “Tractor” Johnson and Independent American Party candidate Shannon Maclean.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-405-9781. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1.

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