Mary Burress elected as new treasurer

Staff Writer
Morton Times-News

Republican Mary Burress beat her Democrat opponent Monica Connett in a landslide in the Tazewell County Treasurer’s race Nov. 2, receiving 30,355 votes (68.4%) to Connett’s 14,045 votes (31.6%).

With only 67 out of 130 precincts reported by the county at the Pekin Times deadline, Republican Mary Burress commanded 70.4 percent of the vote against her Democrat opponent Monica Connett. Burress had 14,895 votes, and Connett had 6,264.

“It feels awesome,” Burress said Tuesday night, as she watched the results come in with her supporters at Yesterdays Bar and Grill. “It’s great.”

Burress has worked in the treasurer’s office for 26 years, 21 of them as deputy treasurer.

“I think that taxpayers and my supporters have spoken,” she said.

Burress credited her win to the way she “ran her campaign.”

“I just pushed my experience, my qualifications — just trying to prove what I have to offer the taxpayers and they agreed,” she said.

She will be sworn in Dec. 1, and said the first thing she wants to do is reorganize the office.

As deputy treasurer, she also performed the duties of deputy collector. She said she wants make that arrangement permanent and rename the position “chief,” among other changes.

She will also begin to implement a new tax software in the office to increase efficiency — updating from an old DOS-based system to a Windows-based one.

“And I just want more open communication and transparency for the taxpayers,” she said.

As deputy treasurer, Burress recently helped lead an effort to upgrade the treasurer’s office’s website, allowing taxpayers to pay directly online.

She was endorsed by retiring treasurer Duane Gray and his predecessor.

She defeated Republican Russ Crawford in the primary.

Connett is the office manager and bookkeeper for Cincinnati Township, where she works with external auditors and performs other accounting functions. Connett also is a case worker for its general assistance program.

She sits on the Tazewell County Zoning Board of Appeals, and was a former deputy auditor for the county. She is also a former county board member, owned a laundromat in Pekin from 2000 to 2008, and once worked as the assistant in Pekin’s economic development office.