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Jon Green wins Democratic nom. for Supervisor, will face Phil Hemingway

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JoCo side by side
Democrat Jon Green (left) and Republican Phil Hemingway (right)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - Delegates for the Johnson County Democrats selected Jon Green of Lone Tree Tuesday night to represent the party in next month's special election. The election is on June 8; to fill a vacant seat on the Board of Supervisors.

The former mayor of Lone Tree won by just two votes, 139 to 137, over Coralville City Councilwoman Meghann Foster. The electors were the same delegates chosen as part of the 2020 Iowa Caucus.

During a special nominating convention Tuesday, Green, Foster and two other candidates introduced themselves and spoke about policy goals. Scott Finlayson and Susan Vileta were nominated but didn't make it through the first two rounds of voting.

Green spoke about his desire to reimagine the way local sheriff's deputies respond to service calls.

"Who do you want to show up? Do you want someone who shows up expecting a perp (perpetrator)? Or do you want a person to show up that's looking for a person that needs help?" Green said.

Green's toughest competition for the seat will be Republican Phil Hemingway. Hemingway is a former school board member in Iowa City and currently owns an auto repair shop.

Hemingway has ran unsuccessfully for supervisor three times in the past.

"We're gonna see if we can make it happen this time," he said Tuesday outside the county administration building, minutes after filing his formal paperwork.

Only two Republicans have been elected to the board since 1958, according to the auditor's office. The last to do so was John Etheredge during a special election in 2013.

Hemingway feels there are some overlapping goals between him and the current Democrats on the board.

"The issues that I've brought up ever since the first time I ran are now the issues that the Democrats themselves are talking about," Hemingway said. "Rural representation was kind of the cornerstone of my initial running for supervisor."

While Hemingway lost in the supervisor race just six months ago during the 2020 general election, he points out that he got more votes than any other Republican on the ticket; including Sen. Joni Ernst, Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and even Donald Trump.

If turnout follows the breakdown of registered voters in Johnson County, it'll be tough sledding for Hemingway; 18% of the county is registered Republican while 53% is registered Democrat. More than 27% is Independent.

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Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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