Government

Johnson County to hold special election Dec. 18 for Board of Supervisors vacancy

Candidates to be nominated by parties, have until Nov. 26 to file

Kurt Friese
Kurt Friese

IOWA CITY — Johnson County will hold a special election to fill the seat of Supervisor Kurt Friese, who died last month.

Auditor Travis Weipert, Treasurer Tom Kriz and Recorder Kim Painter met as a statutory committee Thursday morning to decide whether to hold a special election or appoint someone to fill the remainder of the term on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, which lasts through 2020. Weipert and Painter both backed holding an election while Kriz supported appointing.

“Two years is a full term in the House, whether at the federal or state level. And in my experience the people in this county want to vote in that situation,” Painter said. “People don’t want to be told by us who their leaders should be. I think they want to decide for themselves.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 18. With a December election, the county avoids new Voter ID rules, which begin in January.

The filing deadline for candidates will be Nov. 26. County political parties will need to hold nominating conventions and those not running as a major party candidate must submit a petition with 250 signatures by Nov. 26 to run.

The election will likely cost the county about $60,000.

“That’s a lot of tax dollars. I look at it sometimes in a little more shaded way because that’s the job we have, and that’s the job I do as treasurer and part of the finance part of this county is ... the fiduciary responsibility we have to hold things as reasonable as possible,” Kriz said.

The winner of the election will join Supervisors Rod Sullivan, Lisa Green-Douglass and Janelle Rettig and supervisor-elect Pat Heiden. Outgoing Supervisor Mike Carberry lost his bid for a second term in June’s primary election.

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The Johnson County’s supervisors earn a salary of $77,239 this fiscal year. Their responsibilities include approving county budgets and levying taxes, entering into contracts on behalf of the county and supervising the secondary roads system, among other responsibilities.

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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