Veteran Clermont County Auditor Linda Fraley earned another term in the office with a nod from voters Tuesday night, gaining 68 percent of the vote in her campaign against challenger Greg Conrad.
“I feel like I ran a very positive campaign,” said Fraley. “I tried to get out with everybody and tell them what I’ve done. I felt that I’ve done what I said I would do when I ran the first time, and this election, people asked what I’m running on and I said my reputation and what I’ve done – assembling a good staff, establishing good customer service and being a good watchdog of taxpayer dollars.”
Conrad, a businessman and Pierce Township Trustee, said in a previous interview that, among other things, he saw the years of Republican domination in local politics as bad for the county and bad for the system.
“It’s my belief that, at the county level, we need two-party representation,” said Conrad. “For the last 16-20 years, this county had one single party in absolute control, meaning that the entire county’s elected offices is ruled by one party. We need to have this two-party representation because it’s the only checks and balances we have at the county level. We don’t have that built in like at the state and federal level.”
Fraley said that, despite the differences in party politics, she felt confident in her campaign because of comments praising her work from both her own party, and from Democrats as well.
“People are listening,” said Fraley. “If people want a change, they make the choice, and that’s what the election is all about. I’ve had a lot of good words from both sides of the aisle. I know it’s a big battle this year, but the comments I’ve gotten say I’m there for people, I treat them well and I’m very visible. I feel I’ve done the best I can.”
Fraley added that the office itself is a hard one to campaign for, noting difficulties in making it clear to voters just what an auditor has to do. The difficult and often confusing nature of financial work, combined with state and federal regulations, makes giving concise and compelling examples of how a candidate has excelled or could excel as an auditor difficult.
“It’s hard to campaign for this office,” said Fraley. “People want little one liners saying what you’ve done, and this is very complicated. It’s hard to describe accounting these days, or the process. I’ve done the best job I can.”