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Race won, it's business as usual for Maskus

By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN

dobrien@dailynews.net

Donna Maskus was up early Tuesday morning going about her business much like she has the past 15-plus years as election officer for Ellis County.

By that night, she was thinking about a new venture.

Maskus defeated Butch Schlyer 6,548 votes to 5,765 in the Ellis County clerk race in Tuesday's election. She will replace longtime retiring clerk Alberta Klaus on Jan. 14.

Race or no race, Maskus had work to do Tuesday, starting at about 6 a.m., rushing around town to the various polls in preparation for voters to arrive an hour later.

At one site, she was seen crawling on the floor putting tape down over an electrical cord.

"You do what needs to be done," said Maskus, deputy county clerk under Klaus. "Everybody in our office was working early. That's what makes the job so enjoyable; I work with a lot of quality people."

Maskus still was going strong more than 16 hours later.

"It's been a fun day, but it's been busy," Maskus said at10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

She was so busy running the scanner she didn't even have time to look to see how her race was doing. She didn't have to. Others in the office kept her informed.

While Maskus was working at the courthouse, Schlyer listened to the results on a radio station at home.

"It's been a brand-new experience, definitely an enjoyable one," Schlyer said. "I'm proud of the effort I made. It gave me a whole new appreciation for what candidates have to go through.

"I guess I'll go back to work tomorrow," he added.

Ditto for Maskus.

"We'll have to take down the booths (today) and go through the provisional votes this week," she said. "There's still a lot of work to do."

Maskus is up to the task, Klaus said.

"It's her 16th year as election officer," Klaus said. "She knows elections inside and out. I think she will make a good county clerk."

"Definitely looking forward to it," added Maskus, who said she will miss working with Klaus. "We've done a lot of elections together.

"We've got some fond memories."