Voters oust incumbent Carberry in Johnson County

Janelle Rettig and Pat Heiden poised to claim supervisor seats

Johnson County Supervisor Mike Carberry (Mike Carberry).
Johnson County Supervisor Mike Carberry (Mike Carberry).

IOWA CITY — Newcomer Pat Heiden, who raised and spent thousands more than two Johnson County supervisors in Tuesday’s Democratic primary, was poised to claim a seat on the board as she and incumbent Janelle Rettig handily beat incumbent Mike Carberry.

Because no Republicans or Libertarians have filed for seats on the board, Rettig and Heiden likely will be elected in November, with terms lasting through 2022.

Turnout surpassed 1994’s primary election record of 13,418, according to the Johnson County Auditor’s Office records. This time, 18,661 voters cast ballots countywide — a turnout of 20.85 percent. The Democratic primary record of 11,066 votes in 2006 also was broken.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know how to judge this,’ how to react, because we’re on uncharted territory. But I think it’s a good sign for November turnout and this is happening across the country and I’m just really glad that Johnson County is part of it and that they chose to send me on to November,” said Rettig, who received 63 percent of the vote.

Heiden, who raised more than $26,000 — far eclipsing the other candidates — received 53 percent. Carberry received 40 percent. That comes to more than 100 percent because voters were asked to pick two of the three candidates.

The Board of Supervisors has a number of responsibilities, including making appointments to nonelected county offices and boards, entering into contracts for the county, approving budgets and property tax rates and overseeing the secondary road system, among others. The job will pay $77,239.

Board Chairman Carberry is serving his first term as supervisor.

Earlier in the campaign, he apologized for comments he made in 2010 to a female co-worker. While he was director of the Renewable Energy Association, he made comments he described as a joke that the woman was past her prime as a stripper.


The Board of Supervisors is made up of five supervisors elected at-large. They serve four-year terms. The two elected in November will join Supervisors Lisa Green-Douglass, Kurt Friese and Rod Sullivan.

Democratic incumbents Johnson County Treasurer Thomas Kriz, Recorder Kim Painter and Attorney Janet Lyness ran unopposed in Tuesday’s primary.

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