BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
LEE COUNTY – Jeff Reichman got his first political victory of his career Tuesday night, while Supervisor Ron Fedler seems to have held onto his seat as a county supervisor for four more years.
Reichman rolled over Nancy Amos of Mt. Pleasant with 73% of the vote 3,283-1,170 for the Republican nomination for the state’s 42nd District Senate seat.. Reichman now will face incumbent Democrat Rich Taylor, also of Mt. Pleasant, in the general election Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.
Reichman said despite the lopsided win he was hovered over results most of the night Tuesday.
“It was decisive, but I will say we were cautiously optimistic going into Tuesday,” he said.
“I knew I would carry Lee County and would have that backing, but I really didn’t know for sure about Henry County.”
Reichman took 66% of the vote in Henry County. He won 72% in Jefferson County, 84% in Lee County, and 69% in Washington County.
In 2018, the Marine veteran lost a fairly close election to Fort Madison’s Jeff Kurtz for Dist. 83 State Representative 54% to 46%.
Reichman said this part of the state has been suffering through shrinking population and job markets and his message got through to Republican voters.
“We’ve all been through this for the last 30 years – declining population, declining job markets and the challenges that presents,” he said.
“The lack of opportunities, kids graduating and leaving and not coming back. instead of staying here and having children and grandchildren.”
He said he didn’t think the recent volatility in this country had anything to do with Tuesday’s numbers, but he said they will have an impact in the general.
He said the match-up with Taylor will go down party lines.
“He has a 100% Planned Parenthood rating and only a 75% business rating. We’re going to be 100% pro-life and 100% pro-business,” he said. “Again, it comes back to the economy and what happened under a Democratic held county, against what could have happened with Republican control.”
Taylor is an Assistant Democratic Leader and ranking member on the Veterans Affairs Committee. He also serves on the Agriculture, Judiciary and Labor & Business Relations committees, as well as the Administration & Regulation Budget.
Ron Fedler also won with a large majority of support. Fedler took 416 of 610 total votes cast for the District 1 Supervisor seat. His opponent, Tony Keefe had 192 votes in his first run for county supervisor.
Fedler said he was pleased with the turnout despite all that is going on in the state and county currently.
“I was very pleased with what is usually a smaller turnout during primaries. That was a larger turnout,” he said.
“I was concerned that it would be a lot closer than it was. I’m very pleased with the amount of votes I received, and I felt the district gave me a strong vote of confidence.”
Fedler is now set up for his 3rd term on the Lee County Board of Supervisors.
Fedler said he wasn’t surprised by any of the results from Tuesday’s election other than the number of voters both by absentee and at the polls.
Lee County Democrats voted overwhelmingly for Theresa Greenfield to go up against Republican U.S. Sen Joni Ernst in November. Greenfield took 52% of the votes of Democrats in Lee County and won the state primary with almost 48%. Retired United States Navy Vice Admiral Michael Franken was closest with 19% in Lee County and 25% across the state.
Fedler’s seat and the nomination for U.S. Senate were the only contested democratic races in the county.
On the Republican side, Illinois transplant Bobby Schilling won the Lee County Republicans’ support for the Iowa’s 2nd Congressional district U.S. Representative seat defeating Mariannette Miller-Meeks 811-739. However Miller-Meeks won the the state count 48% to 36% over Schilling and will face off against Wheatland farmer Rita Hart for the seat in the general election. Rep. Dave Loebsack is retiring at the end of his term.
One of the biggest surprises of the night was the unseating of 17-year incumbent Steve King in Iowa’s 4th District in northwest Iowa. King was leading current State Sen. Randy Feenstra (IA-2nd) deep into polling, but Feenstra rallied from a 500-vote deficit to win the nomination with 46% of the district vote, compared to King’s 40%.”
It was King’s first loss in his 24-year-political career.