On The Local Ballot: Lone Contested Race For Voters To Decide
The fates of the individual candidates now rest in the hands of the public, as Election Day is rapidly approaching. The polls for the General Election opened at 7 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 4, across the state. In Palo Alto County, there is just one contested election in the local county government level, but several contested elections at the state level in the 2008 General Election.
The lone contested local election is for the County Supervisor District III seat, where incumbent Supervisor Leo Goeders is running as an Independent candidate against Democratic candidate Frank Kliegl.
Voters will also be asked to cast ballots in county elections for the offices of County Supervisor for District Four, as well as County Auditor and County Sheriff. In all three elections, the incumbent office holders, Supervisor Ron Graettinger in District Four, as well as County Auditor Gary Leonard and County Sheriff Dennis Goeders are all running for another term in their respective positions.
There will also be several non-partisan elections on the ballot, including four seats on the Palo Alto County Hospital Trustees. Announced candidates for two seats are Kris M. Ausborn and Dean Newlon. Additionally, voters will be asked to fill a vacancy on the Hospital Board of Trustees for a four-year term, with Tamara L. Naig as the announced candidate. A two-year term vacancy on the Hospital Board of Trustees will feature Dawn Schmidt as the lone annouced candidate for the vacancy.
There will be three positions to be filled on the Palo Alto County Soil and Water Conservation District Commission, with Ray Brown as the only announced candidate, leaving the other two positions to be filled by write in candidates.
There will be four positions to fill for the County Agricultural Extension Council during the election. The announced candidates for those positions include Sara Bonnstetter, Anita Fisher, Jerry Joyce and George D. Zech.
A total of four townships in Palo Alto County will elect trustees during Tuesday’s election. Voters in Fairfield Township will cast ballots for Mike Fred Reding and David A. Bolte for township trustees.
In Independence Township, the names of Stewart Ohrtman and Tim Naig will appear on the ballot for township trustees, while in Silver Lake Township, trustees ballots will be cast for Gary L. Rouse and Mike Sikora. Voters in West Bend Township will cast trustee ballots for Dennis Barber and Edward Schmalen.
State, Federal Elections
Palo Alto County voters will have several contested elections to cast ballots on at the state and federal levels in the General Election. Locally, Incumbent State Senator John P. (Jack) Kibbie, a Democrat, is running for re-election to another term in the Iowa Senate, representing Senate District Four. Ken Vaske of Algona, representing the Grassroots for Life party, opposes Kibbie. Incumbent State Representative Marcie R. Frevert, a Democrat, is running for re-election to her seat in the Iowa House of Representatives for District Seven. Republican candidate Debra Satern of Estherville opposes Frevert.
In the United States Congressional races, Incumbent Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Cumming, is opposed by Republican Christopher Reed of Marion. For the U.S. House of Representatives District Four seat, Incumbent Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames, is opposed by Democratic candidate Becky Greenwald of Perry.
While the Presidential race has highlighted the campaigns of John McCain and Sarah Palin and Barack Obama and Joe Biden, there are seven other Presidential and Vice Presidential candidate teams appearing on the ballot.
Chuck Baldwin and Darrell L. Castle are running for election representing the Constitution Party, while Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente are running for election representing the Green Party. Bob Barr and Wayne A. Root are running for election without any party affiliation, while Gloria La Riva and Robert Moses are running as candidates for the Party for Socialism and Liberation.
Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez are running for election representing the Peace and Freedom Party, while Brian Moore and Stewart A. Alexander are running for the Socialist Party USA. The final candidate team is James Harris and Alyson Kennedy, running for the Socialist Workers Party.
Voters will also be asked to affirm or deny the retention of several judges on the General Election Ballot. For the Iowa Supreme Court, Judge Brent Appel, Judge Mark S. Cady and Judge Daryl L. Hecht will be up for retention on the state’s high bench.
For the Iowa Court of Appeals, Judges Larry J. Eisenhauer, Terry L. Hultnik and Rosemary Shaw Sackett will be up for voter approval, along with District Court Judges in District 3A, Patrick M. Carr, don E. Courtney and John P. Duffy will be up for approval by the voters.
Voters across the state will also be asked to vote yes or no on a public measure dealing with an amendment to the Iowa Constitution. The proposed amendment would change the language of the Constitution that describes a person who cannot legally vote from “idiot or insane person” to “a person adjudged mentally incompetent to vote.”