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story.lead_photo.caption Julie Smith/News Tribune Judy Ridgeway, candidate for the position of Cole County Recorder of Deeds.

She hasn't held public office, but Republican Judy Ridgeway believes her work experience will allow her to be an effective Cole County recorder of deeds.

"Along with 18 years working in that office, I've also worked for the Missouri State Chamber of Commerce, Missouri River Regional Library and Nicklas Financial Companies," she said. "I pride myself with maintaining practice with Missouri Revised Statutes."

The county Recorder of Deeds Office is responsible for recording public documents and preserving them for historical retrieval and legal review. This includes real estate records, marriage licenses, tax liens and discharge papers.

Prior to her departure from the recorder's office in February, Ridgeway said she had been performing numerous duties as deputy recorder, which included training the office staff.

"I believe the taxpayers deserve a full-time, experienced and hands-on recorder who understands the complexity of this office," she said. "The office handles multitudes of document types, and they require precise recordings. I also want to make sure we continue to protect irreplaceable historical records of our county. The recorder's office is responsible for recording and maintaining records for over a billion dollars worth of real property."

Ridgeway sees the role of the recorder's office as helping to prevent residents from having to pay additional expenses or conflicts with their neighbors or family members.

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"This is done by being knowledgeable and educated in the numerous types of deed transactions and helping residents with questions they may have along the process," she said.

Although there is web access to these records, Ridgeway said she wants to address security issues not just for the users of the records, but to keep the integrity of the records themselves.

"Safeguarding confidential information such as Social Security numbers for the security of patrons remains a critical situation," she said. "A property record search in the recorder's office is not a simple internet search. Records and documents entrusted to the recorder, though public, still contain personal information that needs to be redacted before publication."

As of April 12, Ridgeway's campaign committee, Ridgeway 4 Recorder, had $3,756.13 on hand. The committee had received contributions of more than $100 from Doug Ridgeway, $525, and Paul Tellman, $4,000.

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