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Phil McGrane, longtime elections official, sets sights on Ada County clerk’s office

Phil McGrane demonstrates Ada County’s vote tabulation equipment at the Ada County Elections Office in January 2016. McGrane, the county’s deputy clerk, has filed initial paperwork to replace his boss, Chris Rich, who will retire after next year’s election.
Phil McGrane demonstrates Ada County’s vote tabulation equipment at the Ada County Elections Office in January 2016. McGrane, the county’s deputy clerk, has filed initial paperwork to replace his boss, Chris Rich, who will retire after next year’s election. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

So far, Phil McGrane is the only person who’s filed paperwork needed to run for Ada County clerk in the 2018 election.

McGrane is chief deputy to County Clerk Chris Rich, who announced recently that he’ll retire next year after eight years in office. If he wins, McGrane would follow in Rich’s footsteps. Rich served 13 years as chief deputy to Clerk J. David Navarro before ascending to elected office.

McGrane ran for Idaho secretary of state in 2014, but lost in the Republican primary to eventual general election winner Lawerence Denney. He started working for the clerk’s office in 2005. In 2007, he went to law school at the University of Denver. After graduating, he returned and has been chief deputy clerk since.

Rich announced his support for McGrane at the end of an Ada County press release noting his retirement.

The county clerk’s office has a long list of responsibilities. Its duties include managing all court filings and processes, conducting elections, overseeing county finances and budgets, recording property records, issuing marriage licenses and processing indigent assistance, among other clerical functions.

County officials credit Rich with helping modernize the systems for providing those services by pushing online processing of documents, payments, recordings and court filings.

The formal filing period for candidates for the May 2018 primary starts in late February.

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