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Orange County | ORANGE COUNTY ELECTIONS 2002

Clerk-Recorder Race Nonpartisan in Name Only

Peotter emphasizes GOP affiliation in battle against Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly.

October 15, 2002|David Reyes | Times Staff Writer

The runoff next month to fill the supposedly nonpartisan position of county clerk-recorder may end up turning not on the qualifications of the candidates but their party affiliations.

The race pits longtime Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly against Bruce Peotter, a Newport Beach attorney and recording document executive. Both are seeking to run an office that handles county documents ranging from birth certificates to marriage licenses.

Peotter, 43, said he's the better choice because he's a Republican and Daly is a Democrat.

"From a ballot standpoint, it's nonpartisan," Peotter said. "But from a voting standpoint, people are looking for what you believe in, and Republicans want small government."

Daly, 48, said his campaign has focused on gaining the support of prominent Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Daly said voters should look not at his party label but at the 17 years he has spent as an Anaheim school board member, city councilman and mayor.

"This is a nonpartisan office, and I fully embrace that fact," Daly said.

In the March primary, Daly won 41% of the vote, or 153,917; Peotter took 24%, or 89,945.

Both candidates are seeking the office left vacant by the death of Gary L. Granville in February. Granville had endorsed Daly, who said he would continue some of the innovations Granville brought to the office.

Granville had introduced such technology as online ordering of vital records, including birth, death and marriage documents.

After his death, county supervisors appointed Darlene Bloom acting clerk-recorder. She also is clerk of the Board of Supervisors, a nonelective office.

If elected, Daly said he would like to explore setting up satellite offices at city halls. Residents could use the offices to get county documents, saving trips to Santa Ana.

Peotter said he would explore using online services to boost efficiency.

Merging the clerk-recorder's office with the registrar of voters might also save money and should be explored, Peotter said.

Both candidates have amassed tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, with Daly ahead of Peotter by a 4-1 ratio.

Daly has raised $163,000 to Peotter's $41,000.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Who's appearing on the ballot

Candidates on the county ballot in the Nov. 5

election:

County Clerk/Recorder

Bruce Peotter, recording document executive

Tom Daly, Anaheim mayor/businessman

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