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Primary Election Preview: Waukesha County Register of Deeds

Republicans James Behrend, Barbara Larson-Lloyd and Michael Starich are facing off come Tuesday to snag the job of Register of Deeds.

Three Republicans are vying for a chance to advance to the Nov. 6 general election in the Waukesha County Register of Deeds race in Tuesday's primary election.

James Behrend, Barbara Larson-Lloyd and Michael Starich are competing for the running in the primary. And with no Democratic opponent, whoever snags the most votes on Tuesday will most likely take the position. 

While each candidate says they plan to increase the public’s accessibility to county documents to reduce costs, incumbent James Behrend, 56, is the only candidate who didn’t mention restructuring the position all together, according to the Mukwonago Chief.

Larson-Lloyd, 44, said she would utilize “today’s technological resources” to make as many documents as possible available on the Internet, potentially cutting office costs so much that the Register of Deeds position would see a drastic salary cut, the Chief reported.

Michael Starich, 58, said he doesn’t even think the Register of Deeds position should be a part of an election, the newspaper said. Because it’s a nonpartisan position, he says the Waukesha County executive should appoint the person for the job.

But as the incumbent, Behrend, 56, has a track record or cutting costs. In his , he outlines his successes as the Register of Deeds, along with his future plans for the county.

“Over the past three years as Register of Deeds, we have reduced spending in the office, eliminating two positions; installed a new land records system, and implemented electronic recording,” Behrend said. “Our next efforts will be improving public access to records over the internet. We will attempt to eliminate current high charges required to search records on the Internet.”

While Behrend is fighting to keep his job, Larson-Lloyd, is hoping her experience will be enough to unseat the incumbent. She cites 20 years of experience in the title insurance industry and 15 years of experience in both the preparation of legal documents and management, according to her Facebook fan page.

And according to the Mukwonago Chief, she almost beat out Behrend in the primary in 2008 – by 1 percent.

Newcomer Starich, however, is looking to revamp the entire office. Along with believing the position should be appointed rather than elected, Starich says if he’s elected, he’ll do a “bottom up review” of the entire office to cut costs and streamline processes, the Chief reported.

Candidate biographies

Patch asked each candidate to complete a biographical questionnaire for voters.

Michael Starish (R) - Did not respond

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DICK STEINBERG August 10, 2012 at 11:11 PM
to have partisan elections for register of deeds and clerk is to ignore the middle class moderate citizen. credentials do not count. partisan activity does count. at least have the appearance of propriety and equality.
Michael R. Starich August 14, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I was never contacted. A Phone number was on file with the Waukesha County Clerk. Michael R. Starich
Michael R. Starich August 14, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I would have responded if contacted. I was never contacted. Please consider voting for me today. Michael R. Starich
Shelley August 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Hey, Mike. I was surprised to see your name on the ballot and of course I voted for you. Too bad you were not contacted about your biography because you always believed in serving your country, both with your extensive military service and now in politics. It certainly isn't fair that no one followed up on the biography thing because the article made it sound as if you were aloof or purposely didn't respond. Good luck! In-deed. Shelley

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