ELECTION 2020

Louie Zumbach wins seat for Linn supervisor

Winner represents District 3 on three-member board

CEDAR RAPIDS — Republican Louie Zumbach has won the open District 3 seat on the Linn County Board of Supervisors over Democratic Central City Council member John Stuelke.

Zumbach received 23,159 votes and Stuelke received 20,978.

That seat on the three-member board currently is held by Democrat Brent Oleson, who is retiring.

The District 3 seat represents Marion, Ely, Lisbon, Mount Vernon, Springville, Bertram, Waubeek, Whittier, Prairieburg, Coggon, Central City, Alburnett, Center Point, Walker, Troy Mills, Fairfax and Walford as well as most of the unincorporated rural area of Linn County.

» LIVE RESULTS: Results for Linn and Johnson counties, plus how they voted in national, state elections

Zumbach has represented District 95 in the Iowa House since being elected in 2016. The farmer and small-business owner is from Coggon.

Zumbach said that after “surviving two terms in the Legislature,” he realized that the issues he most cared about were affected by local governments and state lawmakers. He has been involved with Linn County Extension, the Linn County Fair and Linn County Planning and Zoning as well as being elected assistant majority leader during his time as a legislator.

Zumbach told The Gazette on Tuesday night that he looks forward to the new role.

“I look forward to representing the people of District 3 and Linn County,” Zumbach said. “I’m looking forward to the next chapter of my political career.”

The three Linn County Supervisors currently make $115,726 a year, after approving a pay raise early last year. The board decreased from five to three members after residents voted to reduce the number in 2016, partially in dissatisfaction over supervisors increasing their pay to over six-figures.

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Zumbach said the raise is what made him think about running for supervisor as he would like that salary to be lower.

“I’d like to see more representation and lower cost,” he said.

Stuelke is a City Council member and former mayor of Center Point. He has served there on the council for 22 years and was a mayor for four years there.

Stuelke said he appreciates that both he and Zumbach ran “positive campaigns.”

“I wish him the best of luck,” Stuelke said. “I thought I ran a good campaign, but the voters have spoken.”

This summer, the 59-year-old council member retired after 38 years with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office. He served as chief deputy during his final 11 years.

Stuelke said he would remain on the Center Point City Council as he’s not up for reelection until Nov. 2021.

“I don’t know, I will probably run again,” he said. “There’s a year to go.”

Stuelke received his bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University after graduation from Marion High School.

The new four-year term for the District 3 seat begins Jan. 4.

The current holder of the seat, Oleson, announced his retirement from the Board of Supervisors back in August.

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Oleson, who has held the seat since first being elected in 2008, decided not to run for reelection, saying he wanted to pursue other opportunities and spend time with his family — both his children are in high school.

The District 3 winner will join Democrats Stacey Walker and Ben Rogers on the board.

Comments: (319) 398-8255; gage.miskimen@thegazette.com

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