ELIZABETHTOWN-Brent Vosburg received the endorsement of the Essex County Democratic Committee May 26 to run for the position of county clerk against longtime incumbent Joe Provoncha in the Nov. 8 election.
Vosburg said it felt "excellent" to receive the nomination.
"Sometimes change is good," he said. "This is a democracy. People should have a choice when they go into a voting booth."
Provoncha, who has held the office of county clerk since 1992, said he wished his opponent well. Vosburg, who, like Provoncha, is a registered Republican, received the unanimous support of the Democratic Committee.
"He impressed us as an intelligent guy who had the experience to do the job," Democratic Committee Chairwoman Sue Montgomery-Corey said. "He's not interested in going in and eliminating positions off the bat."
Instead, Vosburg said, he plans to eliminate positions through attrition. Aside from this, Vosburg did not want to discuss the specifics of his plan to reduce spending, saying it would likely come out in debates, if they are scheduled. Provoncha said he was willing to participate in such debates.
"Expenses become an issue," Vosburg said, in regard to the county clerks office. "I think I could do a better job in that respect."
Provoncha took issue with the assertion he did not control costs.
"I don't know how he can say expenses are out of hand," Provoncha said. "The amount of money we bring in versus what we expend is about $600,000."
In addition to failing to control expenses, Provoncha is "not always accessible the way he should be," Vosburg said. "He has his hands in other departments."
Provoncha said he doesn't take vacations, and he's in the office on weekends.
"I'm always accessible," Provoncha said.
And it's no longer true he's involved in other departments, Provoncha said.
Had there been a qualified registered Democratic candidate for County Clerk, the endorsement might not necessarily have gone to Vosburg, Montgomery-Corey said.