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John Brown Retires

Herb Trix
Soon-to-be retired Rock Island County Chief Deputy Clerk, John Brown

A long career in local government and supervising elections is about to end. Wednesday Rock Island County Chief Deputy Clerk John Brown announced his retirement, effective on Friday.

Trying very hard not to cry, his boss, County Clerk Karen Kinney, called him "a true friend," and "our election guru."

"It couldn't be more true. I was convinced as I witnessed him share his wealth of knowledge with new candidates, election judges, or voters, over filing packets or challenges to our process which can be very complicated."

Kinney hired Brown to be her chief deputy seven years ago, and together they starting planning to set up early voting centers and to hire a bilingual clerk.

He says he'll miss the day to day duties, what he calls "trench work," but promises in retirement to become even more active in the democratic party. 

"This is not a time for people to be silent. Our nation is on the verge and we need to be able to stand up and poiut out what's wrong and point out solutions."

Brown was first hired by County Clerk John Gianulis in 1982, and then stayed on to work for Dick Liebovits until 1997, also serving as Rock Island Township Supervisor for 17 years. He returned to the county clerk's office in 2010. 

Kinney has hired Nick Camlin of Rock Island to replace Brown. Now serving his third term on the county board, he'll have to resign, but will be able to continue serving as South Rock Island Township clerk.