IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - Democrat Jon Green will be the next member of the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Green defeated Republican Phil Hemingway Tuesday night to keep the board 100% blue.
Green got 66.1% of the vote while Hemingway got 30.6%. Independent Brian Campbell got 3.2% of the vote.
While history certainly favored Green (only two Republicans have been elected to the board since 1958), he says he went full throttle on his campaign.
"Special elections are always tricky; low turnout, the students are gone," Green said at his victory party Tuesday night. "We contested every vote. Whether it was in Iowa City or down in Lone Tree --I spent the last couple days up in Solon."
Green is the former mayor of Lone Tree and says his rural experience will help him represent more people.
"It's not that I think we have different principles or values necessarily...but it just makes a difference that that's where I live. I run in a different crowd most of the time," Green said.
A seat opened on the board when Janelle Rettig resigned on April 18.
There was near-record turnout Tuesday, with 4,711 people voting. The record came in 1999 when there was also statewide measure on the ballot.
Given there was only one race on this ballot, County Auditor Travis Weipert was very happy.
"I just think people are really engaged," Weipert said.
4,696 people voted early absentee and Weipert says it's good to see more people learning how to vote this way, but it also brought challenges. Due to the voting reform bill passed in March, county auditors cannot send people absentee ballot request forms anymore, and they cannot pre-fill any information.
"Surely stalled our lines or created headaches. So, it's unfortunate but we're dealing with it," Weipert said. He was loudly against the bill as it was moving through the legislature.