Sandquist, Dimmitt win supervisor raceTrump wins presidency
The wait is over — and the unofficial General Election results are in for Jefferson County.
Thousands of local voters joined with those around the nation Tuesday, electing the candidates of their choosing who were running for the highest office of the land, to local offices.
Donald Trump is the country’s new president-elect; and in Jefferson County, he eked out a win of less than half of a percentage point over challenger Hillary Rodham Clinton. Local numbers were 3,738 at 45.94 percent for Trump and 3,702 at 45.50 for Clinton.
On the home front, Republican Dee Sandquist won a seat on the Jefferson County Board of Supervisors, while Republican incumbent Lee Dimmitt held on to his.
“I’m very grateful and humbled to have the opportunity and the privilege to work hard for Jefferson County,” Dimmitt said. “Moving forward from here, we have a lot going on; we have a lot of infrastructure issues, and figuring out how to resolve those issues is always a financial one. We have to be financially creative and look at our resources to continue to upgrade our infrastructure.”
Dimmitt said the county has always maintained a balanced budget, and it doesn’t engage in deficit spending.
“When it comes to balancing the budget, we do not balance the budget with borrowed money ... this year, we’re holding $3.4 million in reserve, which is around 23 percent of the budget,” Dimmitt said, adding that he wanted to continue to work hard for Jefferson County.
Sandquist led the supervisors race earning 29 percent of the total vote.
“It’s pretty exciting,” she said of her win. “Between now and January I need to reorient myself on ‘Robert’s Rules of Order,’”she chortled. “A lot of the [supervisors’] governance is in the rural part of the county, and I share understanding of some of the rural issues.”
Sandquist said she wanted to practice that governance in a cost effective manner.
“This win means a lot because my family goes back five generations here and I’m really happy to be able to serve in this manner and really help to bring this community together.”
Although she did not take home a win, Democrat Margaret Dwyer gained 25.59 percent of the vote.
“I think the county is going to be in very good hands. Lee has shown he is competent, and Dee is going to bring a lot of good ideas and energy to the position. As I have said numerous times, I think we had all good candidates. and there was no way the county could lose. I wish them all well and great success.”
Democratic running-mate Paul Gandy,who gained 17.63 percent of votes in the race, expressed similar comments.
“I congratulate Lee and Dee on their victory, and I congratulate Marg on her campaign – she’s a dynamo. We had a very high turnout of registered voters here in Jefferson County. That speaks well of our county and of our people’s interest in the affairs of our county,” Gandy said. “I want to continue to do what I can in working with others. Having been encouraged to run, despite my late start, I think I did well because of the people working so hard on my behalf. I learned a lot, and respect the will of the people – the voters – and I want to do what I can working with the county in the future.”
The Jefferson County Extension Council had four open seats, which are now filled by Jeffrey Dunbar, Barbara Kistler, Stephen Burgmeier and Eric Miller.
“I can’t believe it. I’m overwhelmed about the results; I’m just looking forward to working with the extension board by helping the kids and making sure that the funds are being spent right and serving the community,” Dunbar said.
Dunbar led the race, receiving the most total votes at 2,953, which was 15.25 percent.
He was trailed by Burgmeier at 2,933 with a percentage of 15.15.
Kistler earned 2,823 at 14.58 percent, followed by Miller who earned 2,743 of the vote at 14.17 percent.
“It’s kind of two-fold. You’re elated that you won, and then you come to the realization of the hard work ahead,” Burgmeier said. “I’ve been there before as a county supervisor for 12 years, so I think I’m up for it. I’ll go visit with the extension director in a few days and some of the current board members and see if we can devise a path forward.”
Uncontested winners include Jefferson County Sheriff Gregg Morton, county auditor Scott Reneker.
Iowa State Representative Curt Hanson also won his retention bid for District 82. He was running unopposed.