Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder Mark Church faces challenger in June 5 primary

Daily Post Staff Writer

San Mateo County Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Chief Elections Officer Mark Church is up for re-election this year, and he is facing a familiar opponent.

Redwood City resident John Mooney, 83, ran against Church in 2010 (as a write-in candidate), then challenged him again in 2014 and this year.

Mooney describes himself as a handyman and a former businessman who holds an MBA from Santa Clara University. He was president of the Sequoia Kiwanis Club three times.

Mooney told the Post that he is running to ensure that the county’s voting rolls are up to date with eliminating people who have died. He also wants to ensure that illegal immigrants don’t vote in elections.

When the Post asked him for any specific instances of those problems, Mooney could not provide any.

Church said he had never heard of such incidents happening during his tenure.

Church’s accomplishments When asked to discuss his accomplishments during his eight years as elections officer, Church, 67, presented the Post with a list of 43 new or improved-upon initiatives he has overseen.

They include:

• Redesigning his office’s website

• Leading the county to an all-mail ballot system, which was piloted in 2015 and is in effect for the current election.

• Creating an appeals team for the assessor’s office, which reduced the number of pending appeals regarding how much someone’s property is worth. Church said there were about 5,000 backlogged appeals and there are now about 1,000 open cases.

• Improving voting accessibility for disabled people. Church says many other improvements to the office are underway and now would be the wrong time for someone else to take over the position.

Some of Church’s plans for the future include remodeling the offices at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo, updating and potentially replacing the voting system to make it more secure and digitizing the county’s historical documents.

Prior to being elected to office in 2011, he was on the Board of Supervisors from 2001 until 2011. Before that he was on Millbrae City Council from 1995 until his election to the board.

Church’s father, Marvin Church, was a Millbrae councilman from 1958-1966 and the county’s clerk-recorder and elections officer from 1967 to 1987.

After Marvin Church retired, Warren Slocum, who is now on the Board of Supervisors, held the position until leaving in 2011. The office of the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder and Elections Officer oversees 117 employees and a $25 million budget.