Mercer clerk hopeful says GOP work has made him ready to serve
Mercer County's Republican Party chairman says running for county clerk has been a longtime dream.
“I even thought of this position before I ever got on the Aledo City Council, but I am kind of glad that things have worked out the way they have,” Jay Doherty told the Rock Island Today recently.
Doherty announced his candidacy on July 12, saying his background with the GOP and the council make him a good candidate.
“I am in my sixth year – my second four-year term – so that has given me experience working with municipal budgets," he said. "That has given me some experience that I did not have before.”
Being the county Republican Party chairman has also helped him develop valuable skills that translate to the clerk's office, Doherty said.
“It has given me a better understanding of how elections work," he said. "Your county clerk is the person that organizes all your elections and is the go-between for the information from the state to the county board.”
On the Aledo City Council, Doherty has served as chairman of the Tax Income and Financing and Water and Property committees, as well as the Aledo economic development advisory committee. That experience might prove useful if he becomes clerk, although he says he hasn't fully examined what needs to be prioritized.
“I am currently reviewing things that have come to my light, and I believe there are going to be some things coming up that I would perhaps like to improve upon, to make it better," Doherty said. "I don’t like to talk about something unless I am 100 percent. I want to make sure it is a positive suggestion and that the plan can come to fruition and be a benefit.”
Doherty said he has spent most of his life in the county. He credits his supportive family – his wife, four children and three grandchildren – with making him the person he is.
“I have a positive attitude, and I am a quick learner," Doherty said. "I just think this is something that I cannot only do but can do well.”
The primary election will be March 20, 2018.