The Pioneer Valley has two new Registers of Deeds. Belchertown resident and town finance committee vice-chairman Mary Olberding was elected as the new Hampshire County Register of Deeds. Although not a contested race after a primary a few months ago, Franklin County also sent Scott Cote to the register’s office. Donald Ashe will also remain the Register of Deeds of Hampden County.
Democratic candidate Mary Olberding defeated Northampton City Treasurer George Zimmerman, who ran as an independent. Olberding faced off against two challengers for the Democratic nomination for the $90,000 per year position charged with filing deed transfers, homestead protection, subdivision plans, and more. Home buyers do not officially own their new property until it is recorded at a registry of deeds. Olberding campaigned on her experience with electronic data storage and as a human resources manager.
Olberding’s campaign boasted the support of popular Democratic elected officials like United States Representative John Olver, State Senator Stanley Rosenberg, State Representative Ellen Story, and Hampshire County District Attorney David Sullivan. Oberding also had the support of Marianne L. Donohue, who retired from the position last year after 23 years as register. She was also endorsed by The Republican and the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Scott Cote secured his spot as the Franklin County Register of Deeds in September after the primary as their was no other challengers. He ousted fellow Democrat Joe Gochinski who subsequently quit his post before his term was up. Cote was critical of Gochinski’s lack of personal presence at the registry since being elected in 2006.
Hampden County Register of Deeds Donald Ash ran unopposed. Olberding and Cote will assume their position on January 1.
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129 or email me.