Clark County Recorder: 3 look to unseat Debbie Conway

Debbie Conway, left, and John Evans, right.

Incumbent Clark County Recorder Debbie Conway is facing three challengers in her bid for re-election to a fifth term.

Conway, a Democrat, was elected in 2006, and re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018 to her role overseeing an office with over 60 employees and a budget of over $10 million.

Her years as county recorder is something she believes that her opponents can’t match.

“After 15 years of experience, I would certainly think that my knowledge and experience set me apart from the field of other candidates,” Conway said. “The recorder’s office is somewhat more complicated than what is realized.”

The office records 1 million documents and collects $175 million in real property transfer taxes and general recording fees annually.

John Evans, Republican, doesn’t see Conway’s lengthy career in the recorder’s office as a positive. Evans said he doesn’t believe people should be career politicians.

“The longer a politician or elected official is in office, the more they tend to use the office to serve their own interests and make their job easy rather than serve their community,” Evans said. “That is human nature.”

Democratic hopeful Hunter Cain said the major factor in his decision to run for recorder was privacy and security issues tied to vulnerable community members.

“I have fostered (or) adopted 27 youth,” Cain said. “I reached out to the recorder’s office to request that my home address was blacked out or censored from public documents. I let them know that several of my foster kids’ biological parents found my home address in their system and attempted to kidnap them from home and school. The response I got from the recorder’s office was that it’s ‘not their problem.’”

The fourth candidate, Traci Drake, a Republican, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Cain said he was aware of several foster parents, domestic abuse survivors and other high-risk community members whose information was made public without their knowledge. Those individuals “are now required to spend hundreds of dollars to go through the court system to have it censored,” he said.

“We have an elected official who’d rather stand by past laws, than do her job and advocate to change the laws for the community she represents.”

Given his concerns over public records, Cain’s primary focus, if elected, would be advocating for community members to have the option of keeping information private.

Cain noted he would also push for 2.5 percent of annual income to go toward childhood education and career training programs. He would also look to bring the community together, through his experience as a veteran and advocating for foster youth and the LGBTQ community.

Evans said he plans to focus on restoring confidence and trust in the recorder’s office.

“People in the real estate, title, surveying, and document preparation businesses are almost universally frustrated with the operations and service level they get from the recorder’s office,” Evans said. “Countless individuals have told me horror stories of their dealings with the recorder’s office. If I could only accomplish one thing, it would be to restore confidence and trust in the recorder’s office among the business and individuals who regularly have business dealings with the office.”

Conway said she would continue focusing on implementing technology in the office aimed at making it more user friendly and customer oriented. Given the county’s rapid growth, Conway said she wants to focus on continuing same day service to allow for quick turnaround as transactions occur.

“Technological enhancements are necessary in order to stay afloat in today’s society,” Conway said. “With the advent of the Raiders stadium and current growth and development throughout the county, it is necessary to be proactive and stay in tune to the latest and greatest technical developments within the recording industry.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.