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ELECTIONS 2012: Dinolfo seeks third term as clerk

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Incumbent Republican Cheryl Dinolfo and Democrat Susan Vandervoort are the candidates for Monroe County clerk — an office that probably shouldn't require an election in the first place.

Dinolfo was appointed clerk in April 2004 after former clerk Maggie Brooks became county executive. Dinolfo, widely seen as a Republican loyalist, was elected later in 2004, re-elected in 2008, and is now running for a third term.

Dinolfo says she's made the office's services more convenient by staying open outside normal business hours and by expanding online access to many of the legal records the office manages. She says she's also found ways to expand services.

Vandervoort is a business manager for ComplexCare Solutions, a managed health-care company serving the Rochester and Buffalo areas. She says there are similarities between her current position and that of county clerk. In both jobs, success depends on providing excellent, cost-effective customer service, she says.

Vandervoort says that if elected, she would reopen a downtown Department of Motor Vehicles office — a request she says she's heard during the campaign.

A Chili resident, Vandervoort ran for town supervisor twice; the second time she lost to Republican David Dunning by about 400 votes. She says that Monroe County Democratic Committee chair Joe Morelle asked her to challenge Dinolfo this year.

While Dinolfo arguably has an advantage as the incumbent, Vandervoort is personable and ambitious. The county clerk's office requires a competent administrator — someone voters will likely find in both candidates.

The clerk records mortgages, judgments, and liens. Accepting pistol permits, issuing hunting and fishing licenses, and supervising the DMV are also some of the clerk's duties.

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