Edwardsville attorney Shannon Bradford announced today that she will seek the Democratic nomination for Madison County Recorder of Deeds.
The position is currently held by Democrat Amy Meyer who plans to hold on to the seat when she seeks re-election next year. .
That means voters casting a Democratic ballot in the primary election March 16 will decide which of the two will move on to the November general election to potentially face a Republican challenger.
“My decision to run for Madison County Recorder comes directly from my concern for the county in which I was born and raised and the integrity of an office that is invaluable to Madison County residents,” Bradford stated in a press release.
She further said that she would "not be beholden to the political party bosses who have attempted to intimidate (me) from embarking on this campaign."
Bradford declined to identify individuals who attempted to dissuade her from running for Recorder, but said that "party regulars" delivered the message by telling "somebody else to pull me aside."
"They said I would be black balled, that it would affect my career as a lawyer," she said. "Ridculousness."
"If you've got something to offer then you should run," she said.
Bradford indicated that she has long been interested in public service, and that she had recently been approached by community leaders who "know I would be a good public servant."
She said that labor groups have been "very supportive" to date.
“Whether it be a rigged endorsement meeting or whispers that this campaign would hurt my career, the so-called Democratic Party bosses should not have the power to force a candidate on the voters of Madison County,” said Bradford. “Voters in the Democratic primary should have a choice in whom to nominate for the respective offices on the ballot.”
She said that if elected she would put to an end "the cronyism of awarding contracts to friends and political associates, hold the line on filing fees in the office, and will restore integrity and professionalism to the office."
“Public service is not a hobby; it is a calling,” said Bradford. “I will be the full-time Recorder the taxpayers of Madison County deserve.”
Bradford accused Meyer of spending time maintaining her law practice rather than devoting herself full time to the position of Recorder.
Meyer brushed off Bradford's criticism, saying the accusations of her not working full time were "absolutely untrue."
She said the total amount of time she has spent in private law work was a few hours total in an adoption case and in a guardian matter.
Meyer, who won office in 2012 after defeating Republican Matt Rice, said she will seek re-election based on her record of operating the Recorder's office within budget and running it "very efficiently."
"All documents at the counter by 2 p.m. will get recorded that day," she said.
Meyer also said she has been working to implement a new electronic deed e-filing system that is helping to "set the standard" in the state.
Further, Meyer said she has ensured that provisions of the Dodd-Frank bill, enacted following the mortgage meltdown crisis that began in 2006, have been adhered to, which has been especially important since some lenders have indicated they won't do business where the law is not closely followed.
She said she has done outreach to local VFWs and the American Legion to ensure that veterans' military records are recorded and at no charge to veterans.
Meyer also said that she developed a fraud alert system and trained staff in how to detect fraud. She said she works closely with the Sheriff and State's Attorney's office and that criminal charges have resulted from her anti-fraud efforts.
Bradford, 32, is a family law attorney at Bradford Law Offices in Edwardsville. She received a bachelor of science degree from Florida State University in 2005 and her juris doctorate from St. Louis University School of Law in 2012.
Prior to attending law school, Bradford worked as a clerk in the Madison County Recorder’s office where she served as an office union representative.
“As a former Recorder’s clerk, I understand how important this office is to the citizens of Madison County,” she said. “For more than two centuries, the Recorder’s office has been entrusted as the custodian of the land, veterans, marriage, and birth records of our county and it is a full-time responsibility to preserve and protect our property, identity, and history.”
While attending law school, she worked as a clerk in the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.
She spent two years at the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation handling cases subject to the Violence Against Women Act where she represented clients in cases involving abuse.
“This will be (a) campaign in which people from all walks of life will have the opportunity to be heard and make their own decision instead of having that decision forced upon them by party leaders who are more interested in maintaining their own power instead of doing the people’s business,” said Bradford.