Updated at 11:08 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, 2018.
After nearly 25 years with Pam Hurst at the helm, the Hamilton County register of deeds office has a new leader.
Republican Marc Gravitt, 51, a former East Ridge city councilman and current District 30 representative in the Tennessee General Assembly, won Thursday's election over 56-year-old Vickie Schroyer, a 35-year veteran of the assessor's office who is the current deputy of the office. Unofficial tallies show Gravitt finished with 30,725 votes to Schroyer's 23,310. He will submit his resignation of the District 30 seat effective Aug. 23.
"I'd like to thank my family, my wife, my parents, my kids, as well as the support of the voters of Hamilton County," Gravitt said. "Ms. Hurst has done a phenomenal job serving the citizens and I'm grateful for her endorsement and support as well and I will commit to continuing the good work she's done in the office."
Neither Gravitt nor Schroyer had radically different ideas about the best way to run the office. They both want to keep up with technology in the register's office, which over the years has transitioned from leather-bound books to online data systems. And they both have experience in their respective positions.
Schroyer, a Democrat, had never held a publicly elected office and said she wanted to hire an employee who spoke more than one language to better serve citizens. She said Wednesday she plans to keep working in the office and thanked her supporters and volunteers.
"It's been a great journey, I've enjoyed every second of it, knocking on everybody's door, meeting all these thousands of people," Schroyer said. "I ran a positive campaign and it's been great. At the end of it all, I'm very proud."
Schroyer received about 6,087 votes in the May 1 primary in which she didn't have an opponent.
Gravitt owns Gravitt Auctions & Appraisal. He said his experience working in real estate for more than 27 years would be an asset.
"The register of deeds is an administrative leadership position, having a budget of more than $1 million and 13 employees," Gravitt previously told the Times Free Press. "I am the only candidate with more than 27 years' experience as a small business owner, during which I have dealt with employee issues and complex budgets. The Homebuilders Association of Greater Chattanooga endorsed me."
In May, Gravitt won the GOP nomination with 7,085 votes over Randy Johnston's 4,981 votes. Johnston has worked in the assessor's office for 33 years.
The county register's office is responsible for filing and protecting many legal documents such as deeds, powers of attorney, land plats and military discharges. The position has a yearly salary of $122,875.