MURPHYSBORO — Jackson County Clerk Larry W. Reinhardt recently filed papers to remove his name from the ballot for re-election in November 2018. Reinhardt had filed to run for his sixth consecutive term as county clerk in the primary election March 20.
Reinhardt had originally planned to freeze his pension and serve four more years if re-elected in November. With Jackson County Board proposing changes to the compensation plan for employees that will raise the employee contribution, he reconsidered his decision.
He decided to withdraw his bid for re-election in mid-April and filed the paperwork to remove his name from the ballot.
“It comes down to economics for me,” Reinhardt said. “For my family, it is better economically for me to retire and focus on real estate.”
He added that will give him a little more time to spend with his 7-month-old granddaughter, too.
On Wednesday, the Jackson County Democratic Central Committee met to select a candidate to replace Reinhardt on the ballot.
“They caucused in a candidate to replace me. They chose Frank Byrd,” Reinhardt said.
Reinhardt added that Byrd had worked in the county clerk’s office since 2010. Byrd also owned a business and worked for Jackson County Ambulance Service.
Byrd, a longtime employee of the county clerk’s office, has been nominated to fill that vacancy and will stand for election on Nov. 6.
Reinhardt was first elected as Jackson County Clerk and Recorder in 1998 and has run for re-election four times, garnering 67 percent of the vote in 2014. In the March 2018 primary, Reinhardt drew the second highest vote total in Jackson County for any party in any race in any party, second only to Secretary of State Jesse White. He has been in public service for 30 years.
“I have enjoyed my time in public service,” Reinhardt said.
Over the past 20 years, Reinhardt has been very active at the county, regional and state level, supporting county government and working to keep costs in check. He has served on many state-level committees, including State Board of Elections Advisory Committee, Clerks and Recorders Association Legislative Committee, organizer and charter member of Secretary of State’s Electronic Recording Committee, Illinois Attorney General Social Security Protection/Redaction committee, Illinois Election Cybersecurity Committee, Illinois Flat Fee Recording Committee and others.
Reinhardt has been active in Illinois Association of County Clerks and Recorders, serving as both regional and state president. For the past 10 years, he has raised $30,000 to $40,000 annually to cover costs of training for clerks and recorders, which helps keep costs down for Illinois counties.
Reinhardt has fought to keep local taxes down by consistently reducing budget costs through insourcing tasks at lower rates and reducing staff levels by one-third through attrition. Jackson County Clerk’s budget has traditionally held only a 1 to 1.5 percent comparable budget growth during the past 20 years for this reason.
“Over the years, I have had positions at the state level which have allowed me to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Reinhardt said. “I have no doubt that Mr. Byrd, if elected, will continue that.”
Reinhardt plans to remain active in the community and will continue to serve as supervisor of Somerset Township.
“I am thankful for the opportunity Jackson County has offered and what it provided my family. I look forward to next chapter,” Reinhardt said.