Three new supervisors
A clean sweep. That’s what it was for the Republican Party in Washington County Tuesday night. All three board of supervisor races went to the GOP as Bob Yoder, Jack Seward Jr. and Stan Stoops were victorious.
Stoops, running in District 4, won a three-person race in which he defeated the incumbent Adam Mangold, who was elected as a Republican but ran as an Independent after losing the Republican primary, and the Democratic challenger Richard Gilmore. Stoops finished with 887 of the 2,065 votes cast (43 percent). Mangold was second with 609 votes (29 percent) and Gilmore was third with 569 votes (28 percent).
Yoder won a four-person race for District 2 against a Democrat and two Independents. Yoder received 994 votes (47 percent) of the total of 2,099 and over 400 more than his closest challenger, Democrat Dawn McCoy, who received 578 votes (28 percent).
Independents Randy Billups and Mary Zielinski came in third with 456 votes (22 percent) and fourth with 71 votes (3 percent), respectively.
Seward won the District 1 race against Democrat Kay Ciha by garnering 73 percent of the votes, 1,543 to Ciha’s 582.
Stoops said that the election was stressful for him, but he did not worry about the outcome. However, he didn’t get in as much campaigning as he would have liked in the final week before the election.
“I set aside time to knock on doors, but I’ve been really sick the last eight days,” Stoops said. “I’ve been under the covers at home. I didn’t make it to the board of supervisors meetings. There was nothing I could do about it.”
Stoops said his anxiety began to subside when he learned some initial results on Election Night. After he heard that he had won a precinct, he felt pretty good about his chances.
“When I heard the results from one of the wards, I thought I was going to win this thing,” he said.
Stoops said the campaign against Gilmore and Mangold was frustrating at times but the men remained cordial to one another.
“We said ‘hello’ to each other and at one point, Adam and I said to each other, ‘I wish you the best of luck,’” Stoops said. “That takes a lot to wish that of your opponent.”
Stoops said this morning he had received congratulatory messages from Seward, Yoder, Gilmore and Ciha. He said he had not received congratulations from members of the Washington County Republicans and that he did not expect to receive any.
Addressing the Richmond lagoon will be a priority of the new supervisors, Stoops said.
“We’re going to look closely at alternatives on that and what we can do about it,” he said.
Yoder did not learn of his victory until nearly 11 p.m. Tuesday night. A precinct in Kalona had run out of ballots and needed to count by hand the ballot copies produced as substitutes.
Yoder lives in Kalona and had a strong showing there. In recent weeks, he sought to make inroads in Riverside, where McCoy is from.
“I tried to attend as many of the Riverside council meetings as I could,” he said. “I know a lot of people there, but not as many as I do in Kalona. I campaigned door-to-door. That did me as much good as anything. I was pleased with how I was received there.”
Yoder said it was too soon to talk about the new supervisors’ legislative priorities, but he did say that he looks forward to working with Seward, Stoops, Steve Davis and Ron Bennett.
Seward said that the winning candidates can’t celebrate too long because the hard work has just begun. He didn’t want to make any promises about what the new crop of supervisors would do once in office, but he said they will take a close look at the Richmond sewer and the zoning ordinance.
“The biggest thing was that we didn’t think the three sitting supervisors had done a good job of representing the people,” Seward said.
Seward said he got along well with his opponent, Ciha.
“Kay and I agreed on a lot of things,” he said. “We didn’t feel like enemies at all. I’m going to ask Kay for her input, probably a lot. She’s a very nice lady and I’m glad I got to know her in the campaign.”
Mangold said he was pleased that he was able to get out as many votes as he did but he’s ultimately disappointed in the result.
“I spent every waking hour knocking on doors,” he said. “I was putting yard signs up all over town. I feel I got as many votes as I could running as an Independent.”
Mangold said that running as an Independent is a risk because he did not capture votes from those who voted a straight-party ticket.
Ciha said she knew she would have to put in long hours to be competitive in the race, and she did that.
“I had to get out and meet people, and tell them my background,” she said. “After we moved down here, I became active in the Washington County Democrats.”
Ciha said that while she and Seward have different backgrounds, they stood for many of the same principles.
“We pretty much stand for the same thing when it comes to zoning and the Richmond lagoon,” she said. “I hope Jack does a good job. We sit next to each other at supervisor meetings, so he knows all the information that I know. I’d say we ran a clean race.”
Gilmore said he spent considerable time in recent weeks not just promoting his campaign but the campaign of every local Democrat. He said he also tried to reach out to Hispanics during the race and that he received positive feedback from people who were pleased he did that.
Gilmore said that the zoning ordinance came to define the campaign. He said he would have liked to win but was happy that at least an opponent of zoning won the race.
“Stan is a good, honest man, and I think he’ll do a good job,” he said. “I think the county is going to rescind zoning, and that’s good.”
Gilmore said that, if he had to do the race over, he’d focus more on public health issues because he thought those did not receive the attention they deserved.