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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 19, 2017

Dimmitt, Schmitz elected as supervisors

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Nov 07, 2012

Jefferson County Board of Supervisors has a change coming in January.

Challenger Becky Schmitz, a Democrat, received the greatest number of votes, 4,400. She is the first woman elected to Jefferson County Board of Supervisors.

“I’m really excited to be back in public service,” Schmitz said this morning.

She served in the Iowa Senate from 2007-2011.

“Volunteer campaign support from the Democratic party was very good,” Schmitz said. “And I got positive responses throughout my door-knocking campaign. I look forward to getting to work.”

Lee Dimmitt, a Republican, had 4,159 votes to retain his seat for a second term.

Steve Burgmeier, also a Republican, served 12 years on the board of supervisors and will step down in January. He received 3,852 votes.

The supervisors’ race had 4,045 under votes, where voters only voted for one candidate among the three when two seats were up for election.

It also had 285 blank votes, meaning 285 voters didn’t vote for any of the supervisor candidates; two over votes when two voters selected all three candidates on the ballot, and 66 write-in votes.

Both parties suggested on social media sites a strategy to get more votes for a party candidate by only voting for one instead of two candidates in the race.

The three board of supervisors are on staggered election cycles. Supervisor Dick Reed, a Republican, is on the non-presidential election cycle and remains on the board. His four-year term expires in 2014.

“I’m very grateful for winning,” said Dimmitt. “I am surprised at the outcome between Steve and I. I felt if Becky won — I thought Steve would win over me just because he has more experience and time on the board

“I’d been hearing about Becky’s support the last few weeks, so I’m not surprised she won.”

Dimmitt called Schmitz this morning to congratulate her, leaving a voice mail when he didn’t reach her.

“I am not concerned about working with Becky because of our different parties,” he said. “Steve and I had differences. As I’ve said before, we may disagree, but we’re not disagreeable. This is the direction Jefferson County residents have chosen and I’ll continue to work to represent the people.

“I think Becky has the best interests of the county at heart — as we all do,” said Dimmitt. “A lot of folks were involved in this election and I’m pleased about the voter turn out.”

Jefferson County Auditor’s Office unofficial election results show 8,548 ballots cast out of 12,920 registered voters in the county, a 66.16 percent voter turn out.

Burgmeier said he was doing fine this morning.

“I appreciate the opportunity to serve in office,” he said. “I congratulate Becky on her win. She brings different assets to the board.

“I knew if she won, I’d probably be the low man out. I’ve had 12 years on the board — 12 years of making many decisions. Throughout the years, some have drawn ire.

“I have two full-time jobs, so I’ll stay busy,” Burgmeier said.

Asked if he would run for an office again in the future, he said, “I’ve not crossed that bridge yet.”

He said he hopes the board of supervisors will continue to keep taxes low and provide welcoming opportunities to grow businesses.


All judges on the ballot retained

Jefferson County and Iowa voted yes to retain four Iowa Supreme Court judges this election, with Judge David Wiggins the most notable, because of a campaign to remove him from the bench.

Also remaining on the state supreme court are judges Bruce Zager, Edward Mansfield and Thomas Waterman.

Statewide, Wiggins had the closest margin. With 20 precincts still to report out of the state’s 1,689 precincts, the Secretary of State website shows Wiggins with 54.59 percent of Iowa voters wanted to keep him on the bench, and 45.41 percent voted to remove him.

Zager, Mansfield and Waterman each received approximately 75 percent yes retain, to 25 percent not to retain.

In the 2010 election, three Iowa Supreme Court judges lost their seats. Those three judges, along with Wiggins, voted a ban on same-gender marriage was unconstitutional and a campaign started to unseat the judges supporting gay marriage. Jefferson County had more votes in 2010 to retain those three judges than to remove them, but the state did not.

District Court 8A had two judges on the ballot for a retention vote, Judge Lucy Gamon and Judge Myron Gookin, plus Judge Crystal Cronk, District Court Associate judge. All three also received approximately 75 percent votes to keep them on the bench.


Jefferson County elects Democrats

Jefferson County voted in contested races in favor of Democrats except for State Senator, District 42, which Buchanan, Walnut, Lockridge and Round Prairie townships had a say and went 61.2 percent for Republican Larry Kruse and 34.87 percent for Democrat Rich Taylor.

Statewide, Kruse won with 2,324 votes to Taylor’s 1,446 votes, according to the Secretary of State’s website.

U.S. Representative District 2’s incumbent Dave Loebsack, a Democrat, will return to the U.S. Congress, winning 4,761 votes in Jefferson County to John Archer, Republican challenger’s 3,270 county votes.

Statewide, Loebsack garnered 55.21 percent of the votes and Archer had 42.83 percent.

The State Representative District 82 race also went to the incumbent Democrat Curt Hanson, with 5,051 county votes to James Johnson’s 2,312 votes here.

Statewide, Hanson earned 58.92 percent of the vote to Johnson’s 40.97 percent.

About 25 people gathered at Jefferson County Courthouse after 9 p.m. to watch as vote counts were reported. Precinct by precinct the numbers were posted on a spreadsheet projected onto a screen and read aloud for the audience.

Polls closed at 9 p.m. across Iowa. Jefferson County poll workers count the votes on site at the polling stations and phone-in the results to the auditor’s office. Those numbers are then released and considered the unofficial election results.

The numbers are double-checked and counted by county staff at the auditor’s office when the physical ballots are driven in and handed to the auditor’s staff.

Any outstanding absentee ballots in the mail need a postmark of Nov. 5 or earlier, and must arrive at the auditor’s office by Nov. 13.

Jefferson County Auditor Scott Reneker, re-elected for another four-year term in an uncontested race with 5,778 votes Tuesday, estimates 200 to 300 absentee ballots may be in the mail.

Election results are unofficial until canvassed by the Board of Supervisors next week.


Click below to see a breakdown of votes by precincts.

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