Special Election to be held for Johnson County Supervisor vacancy

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) — A Johnson County committee voted 2-1 in favor of holding a special election to fill a vacant supervisor seat.

This comes following the death of Kurt Friese, who previously held that supervisor seat. Friese had two years remaining in his term, which would have ended in 2020.

The three person committee, which was made up of the Johnson County auditor, treasurer, and recorder, were deciding whether or not to appoint someone to the seat or to hold a special election.

The committee held a forum about the decision, which was open to the public.

The public meeting started today, with some words remembering Kurt Friese as an advocate and friend.

Johnson County Recorder, Kim Painter said, “He was many things to many people. A husband and father, he was also a chef and mentor to many. Beloved by many, a business man, he ran a restaurant for a long time. Many facet’s to him, so it was a great loss.”

Several people spoke at the meeting. Some were in favor of an appointment of a former supervisor, who has similar values as Friese.

“We ought to appoint Mike Carberry. I think it would continue with the values that Kurt Friese had. I think people are tired of elections, and it would save money,” said one speaker.

While others wanted the decision to be up to the voters.

Despite the argument that an appointment would be the cheaper option, the committee said the cost of this election would be less than previous one.

“We used to talk about a 75,000, 80,000 dollar election now we’re looking more like 60,000. At the outside the voting process has become more efficient,” said Painter, during the meeting.

Some speakers feared people would be too tired after the mid-terms to go out and vote again.

Others said people are more fired up than ever.

“It’s hard to ask people to step up and do that again but as I also noted there’s a great spirit right now of people coming forward who maybe never considered running for officer before,” said Painter.

Ultimately, the committee voted to hold a special election. That election is set for December 18th, 2018.

Each political party can have a candidate on the ballot.

People can also petition to run as a write in candidate.

For more information on that process head to the Johnson County Supervisor’s website, here.

Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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