CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County Supervisor James Houser, who lost to Stacey Walker in the June primary election, will face his fellow supervisor a second time this November.
Houser, 64, on Wednesday filed as an independent, or No Party, candidate for the Nov. 6 midterm election’s District 1 race.
Houser told The Gazette he had been registered as a Democrat since 1972 and had considered running as a No Party candidate “every day since the primary.” “I still have a desire and a want to serve. I don’t want to quit,” he said Wednesday.
Houser, who has spent a collective two decades on the board, is set to have his term expire at the end of the year following his June primary loss to Walker.
Walker, who in 2016 became Linn County’s first African-American supervisor, was slated to run unopposed for the District 1 seat until Houser’s Wednesday filing. Now the two will meet again in November.
In the primary, Walker more than doubled Houser’s votes, garnering more than 3,600 votes to Houser’s 1,600.
In his statement, Houser said he considers himself the best option for the board.
“I have served the constituents of my district and this county for many years and believe I am the best choice for the residents of District 1 and Linn County,” Houser said in a Wednesday statement. “Though we technically have a partisan nominating system, Linn County doesn’t care as much about party as about ability to do the job. ... No one in their race has the experience I bring to the table.”
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Walker, who released a statement on Houser’s candidacy late Wednesday, said he looks forward to a competitive election, but also said he feels he has shown more action on the board than his challenger.
“While many might criticize (Houser’s) actions or question his motives for running again for a seat he lost this summer, I actually believe his actions take great courage. His relentless pursuit of this seat indicates a desire to serve and hopefully a desire for meaningful policy accomplishment,” Walker said in the release. “We must decide what kind of community we want to be; what kind of country we want to be. Since 2016, I have pushed the Board of Supervisors to constantly think about the socially vulnerable and working people. I have challenged my peers to open their eyes to disparities and injustice, asking the eternal question: what more can we do to help others?”
Linn County’s five supervisors are facing off for the three remaining seats on the board following the 2016 public vote to reduce the board’s size.
With the reduction in supervisors and remapping of county districts, board members will compete for the remaining seats on the board.
Also in November, Republican Supervisor John Harris and Brent Oleson, a Democrat, will face off for District 3.
For District 2, Supervisor Ben Rogers, a Democrat, will meet current Auditor Joel Miller, who earlier this month registered as an independent, or No Party, candidate.
l Comments: (319) 398-8309; firstname.lastname@example.org