116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Phil Hemingway is one of two Republicans running for one of two open seats on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors ahead of the June 7 primary.
Hemingway, 62, was born and raised in Johnson County and has lived in the county for most of his life. He grew up on his family’s farm between Morse and Oasis.
During the time Hemingway wasn’t living in Johnson County, he lived in Central America, Africa and the former Soviet Union.
In Central America, Hemingway said he worked with people from different cultures, languages, traditions and habits. In Africa, Hemingway worked with local workers.
"We all had to find common ground and get things done for successful results for everyone, and I do have experience doing that with a wide group of people,“ Hemingway said.
He has worked either in agriculture or in the trades his whole life. Hemingway, who currently lives in rural Johnson County, also owns and operates Phil's Repair, an auto shop in Iowa City.
This is Hemingway’s fifth time running for a seat on the board. He first ran in the 2018 general election, followed by the 2018 special election, 2020 general election and 2021 special election.
Asked if his campaign focuses have shifted over time, Hemingway said there has been some shift but “at the heart of it, there still is no rural representation” on the board.
“I think it's healthy to have change, and definitely electing a Republican to the Johnson County supervisor would be a change that is decades in the coming,” Hemingway said.
The last Republican to win a Johnson County Board of Supervisors seat in a general election was in 1958, according to Johnson County archives. Republican John Etheredge won a seat on the board in the 2013 special election but was defeated in the 2014 general election.
Hemingway ran three times for the Iowa City Community School District’s school board and was elected in 2015. He was the chairman of the board’s finance committee for three years and volunteered to review financial records of district expenditures every two weeks.
During his time on the school board, Hemingway said he would also host an “open house” at his shop for individuals to come talk with him about school issues.
“As a supervisor, I would I would do the same type of thing and make myself available every week,” Hemingway said.
“It's important that you have to work with everyone, you have to represent everyone, and you have to be accessible.”
Hemingway said he has heard from residents that there’s a disconnect between the Board of Supervisors and rural residents.
“It was always kind of my thought that the county could benefit from having rural representation and someone who is a watchdog of fiscal spending,” Hemingway said.
Hemingway said the county’s spending of its $29.3 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars is a “unique opportunity.” He brought up using the funds to support nonprofits, spurring local locker plants in small towns to help with food chain issues and helping workers improve their skills.
“Construction in Johnson County is exploding as far as housing, and we need skilled workers,“ Hemingway said. ”Anything we can do to help people to improve their employability, their marketability, would be beneficial to all concerned.“
There are two open seats for the board. Supervisor Pat Heiden is not seeking re-election.
Hemingway is one of two Republican candidates, along with Jammie Bradshaw of Lone Tree.
There are three candidates in the Democratic primary. V Fixmer-Oraiz of Iowa City and Seth Zimmermann of Solon are vying for a seat on the board, as well as Supervisor Jon Green of Lone Tree who is running for re-election.
Comments: (319) 339-3155; email@example.com