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Experience for registry cited by Mary Olberding 

  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with guests during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with guests during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with Harry Miles during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with Harry Miles during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, center, chats with Mike Aleo during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, center, chats with Mike Aleo during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with guests while standing beside her husband, Jim Gelinas, during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with guests while standing beside her husband, Jim Gelinas, during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with Ken Elstein during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with Ken Elstein during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with guests during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with Harry Miles during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, center, chats with Mike Aleo during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with guests while standing beside her husband, Jim Gelinas, during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mary Oberding, a candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, chats with Ken Elstein during a fundraiser Tuesday at Ibiza in Northampton.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

Olberding, 45, and mother of three, survived a three-way Democratic primary battle in September to emerge as the party’s nominee for Hampshire County Register of Deeds.

Olberding, who defeated fellow candidates Bonnie MacCracken of Amherst and Timothy O’Leary of Southampton in that race, appears on the ballot Tuesday along with Northampton City Treasurer George Zimmerman, who is running as an independent for the post. There are no Republican candidates for the position.

Throughout the campaign, Olberding, a lifelong Democrat, has said some of her earliest memories were of growing up in her native Ohio with her parents and traveling with them while volunteering for candidates.

In a recent phone interview, she referenced the amount of attention Ohio has been receiving in this year’s presidential race and how it exemplifies the importance of being involved in the electoral process, and the passion many Ohio voters have for it.

“People can understand where I’m coming from, literally,” she said.

Olberding characterizes her primary win as having been successfully tested by voters in September, and said she has made it a point to introduce herself to the electorate of the 20 cities and towns served by the register.

The job, which pays $90,000 annually, had been held by Marianne L. Donohue for 23 years until she retired last year. The new register will oversee a staff of seven.

As major credentials for the position, Olberding’s campaign has promoted her experience as human resources manager at Schott North America Inc. in Southbridge and at the Cross Country Group in Springfield, where she administered record keeping and government compliance data. She is the vice-chairwoman of the Belchertown Finance Committee.

Olberding said she views the primary duty of the register as one of a manager.

“To be a manager, you have to look at efficiency, accountability and transparency,” she said.

State Rep. Ellen Story. D-Amherst, is supporting Olberding, and said by telephone on Thursday that she’s “exactly what the position needs.”

Story said she met Olberding while they both were volunteering for David Sullivan’s successful run for Northwestern district attorney in 2010 and was impressed by her intelligence, organization and her even temper in high-stress situations.

“She’s pretty unflappable,” Story said. “I guess that comes from being a mother of three kids.”

Story said the hours spent on the campaign sparked Olberding’s interest in moving from supporting candidates to becoming one. And, it so happened that about the same time, a position she seemed well-suited for became available.

Olberding said running for the office as a Democrat means applying the values she finds in the party’s platform, including support for marriage equality rights and for the middle class.

She said she wouldn’t be able to run for any office without running as a Democrat, because for her it’s impossible to separate the two.

“Being a Democrat is as much a part of me as being a mother,” she said.

Olberding said appearing on the same general election ballot as President Barack Obama and Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is both exciting and humbling.

Olberding, in contrast to her opponent, feels the position of register should remain an elected one, rather than appointed.

“If the job is appointed, you’re responsible to whomever appointed you. If it’s elected, you’re accountable to the people who elected you,” she said. She maintained that an appointed position discounts the will of the voters.

Olberding earned a bachelor’s degree in history in 1989 from Xavier University in Cincinnati, where she grew up. She received a master’s degree in human resource management from Emmanuel College in Boston in 1994.

She was the Belchertown campaign coordinator for Sullivan, and volunteered in Hampshire County for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

She has received the endorsements of Donohue, Sullivan, state Sen. Stanley Rosenburg, D-Amherst, and state Rep. John Scibak, D-South Hadley.

Related

Independent George Zimmerman runs for register

Friday, January 4, 2013

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton resident and City Treasurer George Zimmerman believes nine years of professional real estate investing, during which he had a hand in about a half-billion dollars worth of transactions, prepares him to serve as the county’s next register of deeds. Zimmerman, 57, is running for the post as an independent against Democratic candidate Mary Olberding. As Northampton’s treasurer, …

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