Holder victorious despite close race by Buck

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

STAR STAFF
khughes@starhq.com

   Come Sept. 1, Carter County Register of Deeds Johnny Holder will begin his ninth term of office. Unofficial vote totals, minus the tally from Little Milligan Precinct, saw Holder beating back challenger Paul Buck by 623 votes, 6,900 to 6,277.
   Holder, who took office in 1970, has focused his career on updating records. During his campaign, he promised to continue those efforts if re-elected.
   Paul Buck, a political newcomer, ran a close race, even beating Holder 216-209 in Holder's home district of East Side.
   Buck has been a surveyor with Pearce Land Surveying since 1984. During his campaign, he said, one of the things that qualified him for the job was, "I have utilized a register of deeds office on a daily basis for almost 18 years."
   As part of his campaign pledge, Buck said that if elected he would work closely with the tax assessor's office to make sure the processes run smoothly.
   Holder said during the campaign that one of his greatest strengths was his working relationship with county government and his ability to communicate with them effectively. He plans to continue that relationship and also continue to improve technological advances in the office.
   Holder's office submitted around $500,000 to the state in taxes on Realty transfers and trust deeds in 2001 as well as $280,000 to the county. Recently, the state began controlling Universal Commercial Codes on personal property such as boats and farm equipment, resulting in the register's office losing 8 percent of its money. Holder said in a previous interview that he has had to work hard to maintain the budget and plan for the future. He also has focused on getting archived books dating to 1796 rebound, at a cost of about $2,000 per book.