State Senator Brian Nieves wants to go home. Last week, after twelve years spent throwing his freedom-laden weight around the chambers of the Missouri legislature, the polarizing politician announced his candidacy for the Franklin County Recorder of Deeds.
Detailing his motivations in a string of Facebook posts, Nieves wrote that the relatively low-level local government position -- or the "Front Lines of Freedom" -- is in dire need of a "Hard Core, Pit Bull Conservative," presumably to defend vulnerable property records from the encroaching tyranny of misfiled paperwork.
"Can't wait to start this new chapter of service to The People and am looking forward to being the Conservative Standard Bearer at the Franklin County Government Building!" he posted on March 17, one week before filing as a candidate for a position that requires virtually zero ideology or politicking.
"I don't think it's a boring job," maintains current Franklin Country Recorder of Deeds Sharon Birkman, who at 70 years old is retiring after two-decades embedded in the Front Lines of Freedom, which she colloquially refers to as her "office."
Nieves began dropping hints earlier this month that he would not seek reelection to his state senate seat, citing a desire to utilize his conservative charisma and bombastic style closer to home, where he could also serve his family and elderly grandmother.
Far be it from us to harp on grown man's desire to stay close to his family, but there may be other factors at play: His job as a state senator only pays $35,915, while landing a spot on the ramparts of liberty as Recorder of Deeds would see that figure bumped up to $67,215.
In addition, Nieves is still dealing with the aftermath of an altercation with a political rival, Shawn Bell, in 2010. Though Franklin County prosecutors decided not to press criminal charges at the time, a personal injury lawsuit later filed by Bell may go to trial in October, just a month before the county's local elections.
Nieves' duties as Recorder of Deeds would mostly involve preserving documents of public record, following existing laws and keeping his office's data-filing systems updated with the latest technology.
"The most important thing is to serve the public office," says Birkman, who tells Daily RFT she takes significant pride in how her office digitized property records all the way back to the 1800s. "This office has to do with history, wealth and economy of your county. It's an office that started with the beginning of time."
We know Nieves; he'll bring his fullest, most Randomly Capitalized Patriotism to whatever government position he lands in. And Brian, if you're reading this, we'd like to leave you with some advice about county records from our nation's greatest hero of local governance:
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