Government

Brent Oleson seeks another term on Linn County Board of Supervisors

CEDAR RAPIDS — Supervisor Brent Oleson is vying for another term on the Linn County Board of Supervisors.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Linn County in their local government. My passion for the outdoors and nature has led me to become an effective advocate for county conservation programs, expanding and enhancing our parks, trails and recreational opportunities and establishing a $40 million bond for future outdoor and water quality projects,” Oleson, 47, said in a news release.

Oleson pointed to several accomplishments on his last 10 years as supervisor, including promoting infrastructure investments like securing state funds for the future Interstate-380 interchange with Tower Terrace Road, development of the 17-field Prospect Meadows ballpark and emphasizing on local workers for post-flood rebuilding projects.

“I have tried to be a very strong leader for the citizens of Linn County, especially those not residing in the local power center of Cedar Rapids, so that our government works for all the citizens and tackles issues that are not necessarily a top priority of just the downtown interest groups,” Oleson said.

Retired Linn County Conservation Director and Oleson’s campaign co-chair Dan Biechler said he was committed to seeing Oleson re-elected and continue his focus on conservation issues.

“I cannot emphasize enough how much (Oleson’s) leadership and passion for issues relating to conservation, parks, trails, water quality and the environment has meant to positively transforming the Linn County Conservation Department and putting the county in a great position to enhance our outdoor recreational opportunities for the next generation,” Biechler said in the release.

The public in 2016 voted to reduce the county board from five supervisors to three.

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Following redistricting for three supervisors, which was approved late last year by the state, Oleson will run in District 3. That district includes much of rural Linn County and Marion and Mount Vernon.

Currently, Oleson is the only Democrat to file for the county’s District 3 seat, which means he could run unopposed in the June 5 primary. The candidate filing deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Fellow Supervisor and Republican John Harris has filed for the District 3 seat, which means the two could find themselves vying for the same spot on the board come November.

Current Supervisor Ben Rogers earlier this month announced his plans to run for another term. County Auditor Joel Miller had been exploring a run for supervisor, but late last year he changed his party affiliation to “no party.”

Supervisors Stacey Walker and Jim Houser earlier this year announced plans to seek another term on the board. Both Democrats reside in the new District 1 and will face each other in the June primary.

Earlier this year in a blind drawing, District 1 and District 2 were selected for four-year terms and District 3 will see a two-year term. The District 3 vote in 2020 will be for a standard four-year term. The end result will maintain the county’s staggered term limits for supervisors after the 2018 election.

l Comments: (319) 398-8309; mitchell.schmidt@thegazette.com

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