116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Former longtime Linn County Supervisor James Houser is running for supervisor again.
Houser, 68, announced Friday he would be seeking the open District 1 seat. Current supervisor Stacey Walker said last year he would not be seeking re-election.
“I’m running again because I feel that I have the experience and leadership skills necessary to lead Linn County into the future,” Houser told The Gazette on Saturday.
If elected, Houser, a Democrat, would serve his seventh term as a Linn County supervisor. He was on the board in 1990 to 2011 and 2015 to 2019.
Houser first served as a supervisor when he was appointed to fill a vacancy, then was elected to four-consecutive terms.
He was on the board during the floods of 2008 and 2016 and was involved in rebuilding after the 2008 flood, which included the Linn County Courthouse, the correctional center, sheriff’s office, juvenile justice center, community services building and the Jean Oxley building. He also was involved in the planning of the Percy and Leah Harris Linn County Public Health building as well as previously raising the minimum wage in the county.
“I will hit the ground running with no required training like the other candidates will need,” Houser said. “I already have working relationships with other elected officials, including local, state and national and community leaders.
“They know my leadership skills and abilities. In addition, my history will show that I show up for the job.”
Houser said one of his interests during his last term was working on the Linn County opiate addiction task force.
Outside of his previous county supervisor role — which included involvement on various boards and committees during his tenure — Houser also has served on board of the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library and was a Linn County reserve deputy sheriff for 44 years.
Houser resides in southwest Cedar Rapids with his wife, Arleen. They have four adult children.
He lives in the future County District 1 that includes west Cedar Rapids, Fairfax, Walford and adds Ely. The supervisors voted earlier this month to approve the new district maps that split the county’s more rural areas and gives the southern portion to District 1.
Houser is stepping into a district race that is filling up as he is the third candidate to announce a campaign for the District 1 seat.
Breanna Oxley, 30, a Democrat and teacher at Roosevelt Middle School, announced her campaign back in October. Oxley is the granddaughter of the county administration building’s namesake — Jean Oxley, the first woman to serve on the board and the longest-serving member.
State Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt, the Democratic state representative for District 69, announced earlier this month she would be running for the District 1 seat. Running-Marquardt, 44, has been a state legislator for 13 years.
Linn County Supervisors currently make $119,198 a year.
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