Peter Seyb booted into brother’s district, nullifying run for Supervisors
BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Redistricting of county supervisor districts by state legislators has pushed a candidate for the Lee County Board of Supervisors out of this year’s election.
According to Lee County Auditor Denise Fraise, some minor shifts in the district maps received Thursday had major consequences for Peter Seyb who was looking to run for the county supervisor in the 3rd district on the Republican ticket.
Current supervisor Rich Harlow has already given notice that he will not be seeking re-election to another term on the board beginning in 2023. Monday was the first day candidates could file petitions to be placed on the ballot. Fraise said no one has turned in papers on the first day.
The 2nd and 3rd District seats are both up for election. Fort Madison City Councilman Tom Schulz and City Councilwoman Donna Amandus have both indicated they will be running for the 2nd District seat being vacated by Rick Larkin, who will have served a total of six terms as supervisor at the end of 2022. Larkin also served four terms in the Iowa House from 1994 to 2002.
But Seyb, who’s brother Garry is already on the board, lives in Des Moines Township, which got bumped in the redistricting into District 4. That district isn’t in play in this election cycle and is currently held by Garry Seyb.
Peter Seyb said he thinks the state legislature should have gotten the changes out sooner.
“I don’t think that’s right that they put those changes out two days before you can turn in signatures. I had 80. I don’t think there’s much I can do about it, though,” Seyb said Monday night.
“I don’t want to push the issue either, but from what I’ve been told, (the legislature) dropped the ball on this.”
Fraise said voters in Des Moines Township, who would have voted for the District 3 seat, get absorbed into District 4 and won’t vote in the county supervisor election this year.
The other substantial change that took place was moving Cedar Township from the 2nd District into District 3.
Fraise said if Rich Harlow were running again for District 3, because of the changes in the other districts, it would have put all of them in play because each would have had two incumbents in place, which would have had to go in front of voters.
“The rule is if there is just one incumbent, you don’t have to put the seat back up, but if you were running it would be like you’re sharing the district and all three would be on the ballot,” Fraise said.
Ron Fedler and Garry Seyb’s seats would both be put up for election because of the changes in their districts, but since Harlow isn’t seeking re-election there’s not more than one incumbent in the newly created districts.
The new district also had some minor changes within the cities of Keokuk and Fort Madison and Montrose, but nothing that affected this election cycle.