Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds of Iowa elected to full term, defeating Democrat Fred Hubbell.
Election 2018: Gov. Kim Reynolds projected to win another term
Republican Kim Reynolds convinced Iowans to stay the political course Tuesday, claiming a hard-fought victory over Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell in her first solo statewide election.
She succeeded her mentor, former Gov. Terry Branstad, in May 2017.
Reynolds, 59, who became Iowa’s 43rd and first female governor when Branstad signed on as President Trump’s U.S. ambassador to China, rode the current economic resurgence to a narrow win over Hubbell in a race that came down to a turnout battle on Election Day.
At 11:12 p.m. NBC-TV projected Reynolds would prevail in the closest gubernatorial race in years. Reynolds thwarted talk of a blue wave for Democrats by garnering 50 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s unofficial results compared to Hubbell’s 48 percent in unofficial allies with 84 percent of ballots counted. Libertarian Party candidate Jake Porter received about 2 percent of Tuesday’s ballots.
In defeating Hubbell, a Des Moines business executive who was making his first bid at public office, Reynolds avoided becoming the second sitting governor in eight years to be ousted from public office. Branstad defeated one-term Democrat Chet Culver in the 2010 governor’s race.
The 2018 governor’s race was the most expensive in state history with Hubbell raising more than $18 million – padding his contributions with about $7 million of his own money – while Reynolds’ campaign generated about $14.3 million in support with about $5 million coming as a late infusion from the Republican Governors Association to keep Iowa in the red column.
Reynolds also got help energizing the GOP base from two visits by President Trump as well as campaign stops by his daughter, Ivanka, Vice President Mike Pence and presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Democrats generally steered away from making Trump an issue in Iowa’s 2018 midterm but drew help from outsiders like Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and a parade of other 2020 presidential wannabees as they pressed a message of change and inclusion. Former President Barack Obama endorsed Hubbell but did not campaign for him in Iowa.
Reynolds appealed to rural interests and her conservative base by focusing on her small-town roots and working-class values that enabled her to raise a family while scaling the political ladder, first as a Clarke County treasurer, then as a state senator and finally as Branstad’s lieutenant governor for six years before becoming the state’s first female governor when he resigned in May 2017 to become President Trump’s U.S. ambassador to China.
Both campaigns bombarded the television airwaves with commercials. There were positive images of Reynolds romping with her grandchildren and Hubbell looking relaxed and fatherly talking with Iowans of all ages, as well as hard-hitting messages that challenged Reynolds’ handling of Medicaid privatization and Hubbell’s forthrightness in disclosing his wealth and his plans to change Iowa’s tax policy.
For his part, Hubbell touted himself as a change agent that would halt the sharp right turn that Statehouse Republicans had taken in the past two years to undo the state’s collective bargaining law, revamp the workers compensation program and enact what is viewed as the nation’s most-restrictive abortion law – a change that is being challenged in state court.
The scion of one of Iowans wealthiest families, Hubbell campaigned on a theme of getting Iowa moving in “the right direction” after two years of GOP underfunding of education, cutting taxes in a way that favored the wealthy and switching Iowa’s Medicaid system to management by private out-of-state insurance companies without public input.
Hubbell drew on his experience as a past CEO of Younkers department store chain and Equitable of Iowa Companies and his brief government stints as head of the Iowa Power Fund Board and interim director of the state Department of Economic Development to make the case that he was better equipped to be the chief executive of state government.
Midterm elections – which normally favor the party not in power at the White House – drew unusually high interest this year with more than a fourth of the 2 million-plus Iowans who registered to vote taking advantage of the 29-day early-voting window to cast their ballots prior to Election day, eclipsing the previous record set in 2014.
In local Iowa House and Senate races, embattled Republicans claim victory, pick up a Senate seat
Republican lawmakers in the Quad-Cities coasted to re-election on Tuesday night amid several contests for control over Iowa’s House and Senate districts, fending off several Democrats who were seeking office for the first time.
Republicans were playing defense in the House as Iowa Democrats fielded candidates in 95 of the chamber's 100 districts. As they sought reelection, they leaned on the state of Iowa's economy as an indicator of a state government on the right track. Democrats, meanwhile, campaigned on a platform that was critical of several policies that have come from one-party control within the past two years, saying changes to collective bargaining rules and installing tighter abortion laws did not fit with the ideology of the everyday Iowan.
Here's a closer look at how things landed in area races:
Senate District 47
Republican Sen. Roby Smith was reelected after a tough contest against Democratic challenger Marie Gleason, propelling him to a third term representing residents of Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park.
Smith comfortably won his bid, taking 53 percent of the vote to Gleason’s 47 percent. Along the campaign trail, he referenced his lawmaking experience and his record of never missing a vote in Des Moines among his qualifications for another term.
“It’s an honor to go back to the Capitol,” the senator said as he was out with Scott County Republicans at a victory party in a north Davenport bar, adding: “This whole time I trusted their judgment throughout the campaign process. I’m so glad that they reelected me to another term.”
Smith, a small business owner who also has stake in the Quad-Cities River Bandits, ran an aggressive campaign, getting on the airwaves early to tout GOP-led efforts to trim taxes and make a balanced budget. He went around the district for weeks to knock doors of his constituents — often joking that his goal was to wear through two pairs of tennis shoes by Election Day. And he also went on the offensive against his opponent by launching an attack ad campaign, often an indicator of a close race.
Gleason, a political newcomer and Deere & Co. employee from Bettendorf, portrayed herself as a change-agent candidate, highlighting public K-12 education and health care as primary areas she would work to improve if elected.
Spending on the race was among the highest in the region. For Smith, the Republican Party of Iowa dropped about $530,000 into his bid for office — some of which Smith raised himself. Meanwhile, Gleason received a high degree of support from the Iowa Democratic Party, with roughly $207,000 spent on her behalf.
Senate District 49
Republican Chris Cournoyer won the open seat to represent this largely rural district that spans Clinton and Scott counties, ushering in four years of Republican control in area that has been long been represented by Democrats.
Cournoyer picked up 55 percent of the vote to Robinson’s 45 percent, marking one of the most comfortable victories among the area Statehouse contests. The GOP's win marked a blow to the state’s Democratic Party, which had sought to chip away at the Republicans’ majority control of the upper chamber in this year’s midterms.
Cournoyer, a political novice who owns a small business, has pointed to her firsthand experience as a school board president and member of the governor’s council on science and technology as feathers in her cap, saying she has the know-how to hit the ground running when she reaches the state Senate.
The seat was left open by Democratic Sen. Rita Hart, who lost her bid Tuesday to be the state’s next lieutenant governor. Republicans had viewed the district, which includes Clinton, LeClaire and DeWitt, as a good bet even before Hart decided to run statewide, and invested forcefully to flip the seat into GOP hands.
The race quickly became one of the costliest in the region, with Republicans and Democrats alike spending big to promote candidates who each lacked the advantage of incumbency. On Cournoyer’s behalf, the Republican Party of Iowa reported spending about $472,000. Meanwhile, the Iowa Democratic Party spent about $233,000 toward Robinson’s bid.
House District 92
Republican Rep. Ross Paustian defeated Democratic challenger Jean Simpson to represent a battleground district that has flipped between the two major political parties over the years, reflecting a theme in Quad-Cities races that saw several Democrats lose bids for local offices.
Paustian, now heading into his third consecutive term, won the district with 53 percent of the vote to Simpson’s 47 percent. Over the past two years, Paustian has defined his approach to government largely by assisting the state GOP to cut taxes and change collective bargaining rules, measures he says have contributed to a strong economy.
Paustian said Tuesday it was “gratifying” to emerge from the reelection contest as a victor. He said the race was highly competitive, and he owed his win to the hard work his wife and daughter contributed to the campaign.
Simpson, a retired social worker, hit the campaign trail hard this season, seeking to appeal to voters as a Democrat who’s willing to accept solutions to the state’s problems regardless of political brand. She also advocated for improving health care and getting more funding for public education as she ran for the office.
The race for the district was somewhat quieter than some of the area’s other contested races. Still, the Republican Party of Iowa reported spending roughly $44,000 on Paustin’s bid in the final two weeks of October – far less than the $124,000 that the Iowa Democratic Party spent on Simpson’s behalf.
House District 94
Freshman Republican Rep. Gary Mohr beat Democratic challenger Joan Marttila to win a second term in the Iowa House on Tuesday, cruising to victory with wide voter support in his first contested election.
Mohr, a retired higher education administrator from Bettendorf, won 55 percent of the vote to Marttila’s 45 percent. As he campaigned for reelection, the Republican representative has championed his legislative efforts designed to improve the quality of life for those who work at the Rock Island Arsenal, saying he wishes to do more there with another term and continue to be a spokesman for eastern Iowa.
Reached by phone Tuesday, Mohr noted he won wide support in this year’s midterm, and thanked voters for coming out on his behalf.
“I’m honored to earn their trust and for them to send me back to Des Moines and represent them,” he said.
The district, which includes parts of north Davenport and east Bettendorf, has been a Republican stronghold for years. No Democrat has won the district since its boundary lines were drawn, and Mohr was first elected in 2016 without a challenger on the ballot.
Mohr’s victory also came after expensive efforts to retain the seat. In the final weeks of his campaign, the Republican Party of Iowa plastered the local market with pro-Mohr ads, costing roughly $200,000. Meanwhile, Marttila ran a campaign without much money from the state’s Democratic Party, although she did receive some support from national sources.
House District 97
Republican Rep. Norlin Mommsen won a third consecutive term, handily defeating two challengers to represent a mostly rural House district that covers Comanche, LeClaire and DeWitt.
Mommsen, a DeWitt farmer, took the district with 53 percent of the vote. His Democratic challenger Tim McClimon took 44 percent, while Libertarian candidate David Melchert Jr. of Grand Mound pulled in 3 percent.
While campaigning for another term in the Iowa House, Mommsen has pointed to his firsthand experience with agriculture — a cornerstone of the state’s economy — as one of his strong suits, saying he wishes to continue a focus on policies related to water quality and other farming concerns. On Tuesday night, he was splitting his time at events in Scott and Clinton counties to thank supporters for giving him two more years in office.
Mommsen said Tuesday he was “excited about the win,” saying he was thankful to all who took part in the midterm elections.
“I think it says that I fit my district well,” Mommsen said of the message voters sent by putting him in office for another two years.
Mommsen's win also came after the Republican Party of Iowa spent roughly $100,000 on ads and expenses toward Mommsen’s reelection efforts this season, one of the cheaper races in the region. McClimon, meanwhile, received no direct financial support from the Iowa Democratic Party through the end of October, although he did get some contributions from individual donors and organized labor.
McClimon, a Democrat from DeWitt and retired probation officer, sought public office for the first time. His campaign focused on restoring collective bargaining rights for union employees, providing more money for K-12 public education and addressing issues with the state’s privately managed Medicaid program.
Photos: Election Day 2018
Ian Snyder and Raeanne Christiansen
Quad-City area election results
IOWA STATE OFFICES
For Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Kim Reynolds/Adam Gregg (R)
Fred Hubbell/Rita R. Hart (D)
Jake Porter/Lynne Gentry (L)
Gary Siegwarth/Natalia Blaskovich (Clear Water)
For Secretary of State
Paul D. Pate (R)
Deidre DeJear (D)
Jules Ofenbakh (L)
For Auditor of State
Rob Sand (D)
Mary Mosiman (R)
Fred Perryman (L)
For Treasurer of State
Michael L. Fitzgerald (D)
Jeremy N. Davis (R)
Timothy Hird (L)
For Secretary of Agriculture
Mike Naig (R)
Tim Gannon (D)
Rick Stewart (L)
For Attorney General
Tom Miller (D)
Marco Battaglia (L)
IOWA FEDERAL OFFICES
For United States Representative District 2
Dave Loebsack (D)
Christopher Peters (R)
Mark David Strauss (L)
For Board of Supervisors (Top 3)
63 of 63
Rogers Kirk Jr. (D)
Ken Croken (D)
Brinson Kinzer (D)
John D. Maxwell (R)
Scott Webster (R)
For County Treasurer
63 of 63
Jane I. Duax (D)
Mike Fennelly (R)
For County Recorder
63 of 63
Rita Vargas (D)
Mindy Ortiz Carpenter (R)
For Soil & Water Conservation District Commissioner (top 2)
63 of 63
Scott L. Scarbrough
For County Agricultural Extension Council (top 5)
63 of 63
Gale D. Kraft
Scott L. Scarbrough
ILLINOIS FEDERAL OFFICES
For Representative In Congress Seventeenth Congressional District
x-Cheri Bustos (D)
William W. "Bill" Fawell (R)
ILLINOIS STATE RACES
For State Senator Thirty-Sixth District
Neil Anderson (R)
Gregg Johnson (D)
For Representative In The General Assembly Seventy-First District
Tony M. McCombie (R)
Joan Padilla (D)
For Representative In The General Assembly Seventy-Second District
Michael W. Halpin (D)
Glen Evans Sr. (R)
For Governor and Lieutenant Governor
x-JB Pritzker/ Juliana Stratton (D)
Bruce Rauner/ Evelyn Sanguinetti (R)
William "Sam" McCann/ Aaron Merreighn (C)
Grayson Kash Jackson/ Sanjeev Mohip (L)
For Attorney General
x-Kwame Raoul (D)
Erika Harold (R)
Bubba Harsy (L)
For Secretary Of State
x-Jesse White (D)
Jason Helland (R)
Steve Dutner (L)
x-Susana A. Mendoza (D)
Darlene Senger (R)
Claire Ball (L)
x-Michael W. Frerichs (D)
Jim Dodge (R)
Michael Leheney (L)
ROCK ISLAND COUNTY
For County Clerk
Karen Kinney (D)
Russell G. Christ (R)
For County Sheriff
Gerry Bustos (D)
F.C. "Keko "Martinez (R)
Loebsack wins seventh term in District 2
IOWA CITY — Eastern Iowa’s purplish 2nd Congressional District crowed its blue hues Tuesday with its 12-year Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack surging toward a seventh consecutive two-year term.
With 23 of 24 counties reporting Tuesday, Loeback — who has held the congressional seat since 2006 — was leading with 55 percent of the vote to his Republican challenger Chris Peters’ 42 percent.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back to Washington and doing what I have been doing for years and working for people in the 2nd District,” Loebsack, 65, said late Tuesday, noting a projected Democratic takeover of the House will provide him more sway.
“I think it will give me a good platform to work even harder and get more done for the people of the 2nd District,” he said.
Should Loebsack’s margin of victory hold, it will top his 54 to 46 percent defeat over Peters in 2016, when the same district went red on the presidential front — with Donald Trump achieving a 4-percentage-point edge.
That split two years ago made Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District one of 13 Democratic-held U.S. House districts in the country that went for Trump — districts many perceived as more competitive in this year’s midterms.
But polls for months have put Loebsack ahead of 58-year-old Peters — with one in September showing Peters trailing by 23 percentage points and another in October showing Loebsack ahead by 13. Also appearing on the ballot for the seat was David Clark, 27, a no-party candidate from Mount Pleasant, and Mark Struass, 60, a Libertarian from Bettendorf.
With 24 counties reporting, Strauss had 2 percent of Tuesday’s vote, and Clark was at under 1 percent in the district of more than 585,000 that covers most of the southeastern part of the state. Johnson County, among the most urban within the district, showed overwhelming support for Loebsack with 72 percent of the vote.
“I really believe that people understand and like the fact that I’m here as much as I am and hearing what they have to say about the issues,” Loebsack said.
On Tuesday, Loebsack said his priorities in the new term will be jobs and the economy. “And continuing on that path and doing everything we can for this part of America that seems to be forgotten by both parties,” he said.
Pritzker tops Rauner
CHICAGO — Democrat J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire who campaigned on moving Illinois past the political bitterness of the past four years, was elected governor Tuesday over Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, declaring, "We make no small plans."
The 53-year-old heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, who largely self-financed a campaign to his first elective office, rode to victory on the unpopularity of an incumbent whose legacy will be his role in a record-long budget standoff with a Democratic-controlled Legislature.
Greeting supporters, Pritzker invoked the theme of a state rising above hardship and long odds, from rebuilding Chicago after the 1871 fire to catapulting home-state hero Barack Obama to become the first black president.
"That is Illinois, full of light that comes from the people who endure and overcome struggle," Pritzker said. "That light brought triumph tonight."
The triumph appeared complete. Democrats won every statewide race and were on their way to maintaining healthy majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate. It was an appropriate outcome, Pritzker said, for a party where immigrants and minorities and women help build a "bigger table."
"Who we are is how we overcome our biggest challenges," Pritzker said. "We ... recognize that there is grace and courage and pride in the struggle to rise. And ladies and gentlemen, rise we will. We make no small plans for the state of Illinois."
Rauner, a 61-year-old former private equity investor whose campaign bravado four years ago included the contention that a government shutdown might be in order to get Illinois back on track, became only the fourth Illinois governor since 1900 to win and serve just one four-year term before being ousted. Incumbents lost in 1912 and 1972, and a sitting governor was defeated in a 1976 primary.
Rauner conceded the race less than an hour after polls closed, sounding a clarion call of teamwork often missing from his heated tilts with Democrats in Springfield.
"Now we stand not as Republicans or Democrats, we stand as the people of Illinois," Rauner said. "Now we move forward together to come up with solutions to create a better future. I encourage all of us to put aside partisan politics, rancor and hard feelings. Now is the time to move forward."
It was a battle of wealthy titans spending their way through one of the costliest races for governor in U.S. history. In a 2010 race in California, $280 million was spent. Combined, the candidates had raised $259 million by late last week.
Pritzker raised $176 million. The $171 million he chipped in from his own pocket is the most ever by a U.S. gubernatorial candidate. Rauner raised $79 million and Republican state Sen. Sam McCann, the Conservative Party candidate who billed himself as a conservative alternative to Rauner, brought in $4.8 million.
A focal point of debate was taxes. Pritzker promises to overhaul the state's income-tax system to allow for a graduated tax rate that requires the wealthy to pay more. But he says that the specific rates would be a matter for negotiations with the Legislature.
Rauner, who promised to roll back the income tax increase that lawmakers adopted last year to fund the breakthrough budget, called Pritzker's plan a tax increase and asserted that Pritzker plans $11 billion in new spending.
Voters appeared to be out of patience. Dan Bitner of Springfield cast his early ballot on Monday for Pritzker.
"After four years, Rauner hasn't gotten much of anything done," Bitner said.
Both promised increased education spending and proposed billions of dollars for infrastructure work.
Incumbent Scott County Supervisor wins re-election, two newcomers elected to board
Incumbent Supervisor Brinson Kinzer will no longer be the lone Democrat on the Scott County Board of Supervisors, but Republicans maintained majority of the board Tuesday night.
Kinzer, a Blue Grass resident, retained his seat on the county board with 31,956 votes, or 17.39 percent. He'll be joined by two newcomers, Democrat Ken Croken of Davenport, who won a seat with 31,695 votes, or 17.25 percent, and Republican John Maxwell of Donahue, who received 30,768 votes, or 16.75 percent.
The top three vote getters were elected.
Republican Carla Williams, a mental health therapist from Davenport, followed behind, receiving 30,128 votes, or 16.40 percent. Democrat Rogers Kirk, longtime pastor of Third Missionary Baptist Church in Davenport, received 30,062 votes, or 16.36 percent. Bettendorf Alderman Scott Webster earned 28,993 votes, or 15.78 percent.
“I feel very good and very humbled that so many folks gave me the opportunity to continue to serve them,” said Kinzer, who will begin his second term in January, on Tuesday night. “I’m truly blessed. Scott County is the best county there is out of all 99 of them. It’s over now and we’ve got to work together to continue to make Scott County and the state of Iowa a great place.”
The two newcomers will fill the seats previously held by two-term supervisors Carol Earnhardt and Diane Holst, who took office in 2015 — both Republicans decided not to run for re-election this year.
Croken, 68, has served in several executive positions, including at Genesis Health System and currently at Tag Communications. He campaigned for a more robust county board, arguing the board should play a more active role in boosting economic development in the county.
“I’m feeling grand. It’s my first election, and I’m very gratified by the voters’ response,” Croken said. “I’m disappointed that my friend Rogers Kirk will not be joining me on the board, but I am looking forward to working with John Maxwell and the other Republicans.”
In campaigning, Maxwell, 57, who owns Cinnamon Ridge Farms, has been a strong advocate for preserving agricultural farmland, while targeting economic growth in more urban areas of the county. The North Scott School Board member also promoted greater cooperation between “key players” in Scott County, state legislators and other counties to better fund mental health services.
“I look forward to helping guide Scott County into the future, and I think we can accomplish a lot if we pull the rope in the same direction,” Maxwell said Tuesday night. “From my school board experience, I know you’ve got to collaborate, be transparent and compromise to accomplish great things.”
The three winners, while campaigning, all advocated for increased funding for mental health services. Incumbent Kinzer, for example, supported the county having greater authority over funding the mental health region.
“I would see reaching across the aisle and working with legislators and saying that ‘mental health is not going to go away,’” Kinzer said in a discussion with the Quad-City Times Editorial Board. “(We need to) work with the legislature to see where our funding needs to be to keep those services and not lose them.”
For the first time this election, votes from one Scott County precinct will be audited on Nov. 8. Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz will conduct a post-election audit of a precinct selected by the Secretary of State’s office, per Iowa’s new voter ID Law, according to an announcement from the auditor’s office.
Loebsack wins 7th term
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, coasted to a seventh term Tuesday night, defeating Republican challenger Christopher Peters.
The Associated Press projected about about 10:30 p.m. that Loebsack, an Iowa City Democrat, would be the winner of the race in the 2nd Congressional District.
The district includes Scott and Clinton counties.
The Iowa Secretary of State's officer reported results from 15 of the 24 counties in the district at about 11 p.m. and had Loebsack leading, 102,580, or 56 percent, to 75,242, or 41 percent, for Peters.
Libertarian Mark Strauss, of Bettendorf, had 3,621 votes, or about 2 percent.
Daniel Clark, an independent, had less than 1 percent of the vote.
The totals are unofficial.
Loebsack's win over Peters was his second consecutive victory over the Coralville surgeon. He also defeated him in 2016.
The 2nd District contest didn't get the attention as the more competitive 1st and 3rd district races in Iowa. Loebsack raised far more money than Peters. He also was thought to be in a good position given Democratic enthusiasm across the state.
Anderson edges Johnson to keep 36th District seat
Following a hard-fought campaign, Republican incumbent state Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, held on to his seat in the 36th District by the narrowest of margins Tuesday night with 50.9 percent of the vote.
At press time, Anderson was leading Democratic challenger Gregg Johnson 38,643 to 37,320 -- a difference of 1,323 votes.
The 36th District includes portions of Rock Island, Henry, Whiteside and Carroll counties.
Anderson said Johnson called him when results were projecting him to be the winner and offered his congratulations.
"Gregg called me, and he was very gracious," Anderson said. "He offered to help in any way to move the district forward.
"It was a tough race in this environment, and obviously a big turnout. If you vote your district and not your party, you can do the impossible," Anderson said.
Anderson said he will head back to Springfield soon to attend veto sessions.
"I've got a couple of bills Governor Rauner vetoed that I need to work on to override," Anderson said. "We need pro-business reforms. I hope Governor-elect (J.B.) Pritzker will listen to the business owners in the state. I'm willing to work with him to get things done."
Anderson's victory ends a brutal campaign that saw $3.6 million raised and spent between the two candidates.
Johnson received more than $2 million in contributions, including a boost from Pritzker, who donated $1 million to the Illinois Democratic Heartland Committee, whose goal is to elect downstate Democrats to the state Senate, according to IllinoisSunshine.org.
According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, Johnson spent $954,737 on all advertising in the third quarter alone, while Anderson spent $300,000 just on television advertising.
But the millions weren't enough to wrest the state Senate seat from Republican control.
"I'm in a Democrat district and got outspent three-to-one," Anderson said. "It just goes to show if you work hard, you can overcome the impossible, like tonight."
Part of Anderson's advertising campaign involved controversial mailers sent to households attacking Johnson as a past member of the Hope Creek Care Center advisory board.
Anderson, 36, attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he played football and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in general studies.
He has been a full-time firefighter and paramedic with the Moline Fire Department for 12 years, and was recently promoted to engineer. He has been married for 16 years and has two children, ages 14 and 6.
Johnson, 54, retired from the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2014. He served as president of AFSCME Local 46 for the past five years and as AFSCME’s political chair for the Illinois Quad-Cities.
Dems hold treasurer, AG seats
WATERLOO — Democrats retained control of the Iowa's treasurer office and the attorney general seat but other statewide offices were too close to call in late Tuesday night election results.
Incumbent Democrat Mike Fitzgerald easily defeated Republican Jeremy Davis in the state treasurer race. And incumbent Democrat Tom Miller beat Libertarian Marco Battaglia in the race for attorney general.
Other races were heading down to the wire.Democrat Rob Sand was leading incumbent Republican Mary Mosiman in the state auditor race. Incumbent Republican Mike Naig was narrowly ahead of Democrat Tim Gannon in the race for secretary of agriculture, and Republican incumbent Paul Pate was leading Democrat Deidre DeJear in the secretary of state race.
The races for Iowa’s secretary of state, state auditor and secretary of agriculture received more attention than previous years — and more money, with candidates raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Sand alone raised more than $1.2 million in his campaign, while Mosiman raised $85,580.
Sand is a former Iowa prosecutor is running as a fiscal watchdog. The auditor's office handles all of Iowa's public corruption investigations.
In 2006 there was no Democratic nominee for state auditor, and in 2010 the nominee was named at the Democratic convention.
Mosiman has been the Iowa’s auditor since 2013 after being appointed by former Gov. Terry Branstad.
She’s contends certified public accounts are more qualified for the job than prosecutors like Sand.
DeJear raised more than $500,000 for her campaign and Pate raised more than $80,000.
A new voter ID law pushed by Pate brought this race to the attention of many Iowans.
Pate traveled around the state to reassure Iowans the election would be safe from hacking.
DeJear has received national attention and campaigned with Sen. Kamala Harris in Cedar Falls.
If she wins she’ll be the first African-American women elected to state office in Iowa.
Gannon raised $370,000 to Naig's $400,000.
Fitzgerald raised $44,000 and Davis, $22,900.
Fitzgerald has served as state treasurer since 1983.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, 74, faced a libertarian challenge from Marco Battaglia, 33.
Other libertarians running are Jules Ofenbakh for secretary of state, Fred Perryman for state auditor, Timothy Hird for treasurer of state and Rick Stewart for secretary of agriculture.
Bustos decisively defeats Fawell in Illinois District 17
U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, easily won another term in Congress on Tuesday to continue to represent the 17th District by routing Republican challenger Bill Fawell, of Galena, Illinois.
Bustos claimed 64.52 percent of the vote, compared with Fawell's 35.48 percent.
Bustos spent election night at the Rock Island Holiday Inn and Convention Center with a large crowd of her supporters in a victory celebration shared by Rock Island County Democrats.
Opponent Fawell, 64, a real-estate developer and author, supported a Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny -- REINS -- Act that would have required any new regulation costing more than $100 million be approved by Congress.
He also said he would have imposed regulations on social media to remove Facebook and Twitter related "incendiary language" or hate speech; and supported term limits, stricter border control, and an audit of the Federal Reserve.
State, district, and county Republican leaders earlier had pulled their support for Fawell, after reviewing alleged conspiracy theories he had posted on his "Elect Fawell" Facebook page, according to earlier reports.
Democrats hold on to majority on RI Co. Board
Although the Democrats were on the defense, holding nine of the 13 Rock Island County Board seats up for election, they appeared Tuesday night to be on the verge of picking up one more seat in District 12 as Mike Steffen was behind Democrat David Adams 911 to 679.
Only 80 percent of that precinct had been counted.
Three incumbents and one newcomer, all Democrats, faced no challengers: District 4, Patrick Moreno; District 5, Larry Burns; District 11, Don Johnston; and District 19, Lauren Boswell-Loftin.
District 2: Incumbent Republican Dewayne Cremeens of Rapids City holds on to his seat, staving off Democrat Gary Freeman of East Moline. At press time, Cremeens led the race 1,209 to 1,163. This will be his second term on the board. Freeman, 67, retired after a 30-year stint with John Deere Harvester Works. He previously served as board member for District 19 for 19 years.
District 3: Incumbent Democrat Scott Noyd of Silvis defeated Republican challenger Tony Holland by a vote of 1,039 to 681. Noyd works as a union representative. Holland works in contracted security and is a stay-at-home father.
District 12: Democrat David Adams led Steffen 911 to 679 with 80 percent of he precincts reporting. Steffen, 70, previously served as the chairman of the Rock Island County Republican Committee. Adams, who works as a manager of Foundation for Contracting Trust, has previously served on the Moline City Council.
District 14: Democrat Angie Normoyle of Moline defeated Republican challenger Kenneth "Ken" Grenier by a vote of 1,258 to 809 with 100 percent of the precincts reporting. The seat stays in Democrat control, as Normoyle fills the seat currently held by Virginia "Ginny" Shelton. Normoyle, 52, of Moline, is an assistant professor at Augustana College. Grenier, 77, is retired after spending 25 years in management for Deere & Co. He also taught computer science and management courses at St. Ambrose University.
District 15: Incumbent Democrat Edna Sowards of Moline will get to keep the seat she was appointed to after the previous occupant, Nick Camlin, became deputy county clerk. In her first campaign for the position, Sowards holds off Republican challenger William "Bill" Long of Rock Island by a count of 1,482 to 929 with all precincts reporting. Long, 80, retired from John Deere Insurance as a national marketing director and has been a member of the Republican Party for 50 years. Sowards, 67, is a retired nurse.
District 18: Incumbent Republican Dr. Rodney Simmer defeats political newcomer Libby Hancock 1,506 to 1,338. In an interview after the win, Simmer said the number one focus is figuring out what to do with Hope Creek Care Center and following through on the board's plans with the county building.
"We have to correct the errors of the past," Simmer said.
Simmer, owner of Simmer Chiropractic, had came under fire for remarks he made in a news story denouncing the management of Hope Creek Care Center, a board he currently sits on.
Hancock, 32 of Rock Island, is an administrative director for the Rock Island County Democrats and campaign manager for state representative Mike Halpin.
District 21: Democrats will hold on to this seat as well as Dorothy Beck of Rock Island defeats Republican challenger Paul Gende. The vote count was 945 to 722. The seat is currently held by Scott Terry, who decided not to run again. Beck, 72, is a retired teacher from Black Hawk College who also served as a member of their board of trustees. Gende, 47, is the owner of Midwest Placing, LLC, a union construction company.
District 23: Incumbent Ken "Moose" Maranda defeats Republican challenger Dale Muller 1,216 to 1,073. Maranda, 75, of Milan, is county board chairman and a retired Teamster. Muller, 69, of Rock Island, is retired after working for MidAmerican Energy for 36 years.
District 25: Incumbent Republican J. Robert Westpfahl will serve a third term on the board as he easily defeats Democrat James Greenwood 1,736 to 949. Westpfahl, 69, of Milan, is a semi-retired farmer. Greenwood, 33, of Milan, is an attorney.
Mike Fennelly to succeed his father, longtime Scott County Treasurer
Mike Fennelly, a longtime businessman and Republican, will succeed his father, Bill Fennelly, as Scott County Treasurer.
When the 84-year-old Bill Fennelly, who held the office since 1995, announced he would not run for re-election, both Democrats and Republicans began vying to fill the seat. Tuesday night, 56-year-old Mike Fennelly won the office with 35,902 votes, or 52.64 percent.
Democrat Jane Duax fell behind, receiving 32,249 votes, or 47.28 percent. Duax has worked in the education, nonprofit and for-profit business sectors, and said her two years working for the New York State Assembly provided the political experienced needed for the treasurer position.
A self-employed businessman for 32 years in the real estate industry, Fennelly touted his experience working for several political campaigns with his family.
The county treasurer handles property tax payments and motor vehicle registrations, plus oversees county investments.
In the race for Scott County Recorder, incumbent Rita Vargas, a Democrat, was re-elected to serve a fifth term. First elected in 2002, Vargas received 37,752 votes, or 55.83 percent.
She was challenged by Mindy Ortiz Carpenter, a Republican, who has worked in the Recorder’s office for 38 years. Carpenter captured 44 percent of the ballots cast, or 29,812 votes.
This is the second loss for Carpenter, who in 2014, was nominated by a special GOP convention to fill the party’s vacancy on the ballot for the Recorder’s office. She lost to Vargas by 6 percentage points.
The Recorder’s office handles records, such as marriage licenses and real estate documents. It also issues hunting and fishing licenses, plus registers certain recreational vehicles.
Scott County Attorney Mike Walton, a Democrat, ran unopposed.
Bustos, Kinney lead RI Co. victors
Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney and Sheriff Gerry Bustos, both Democratic incumbents, appeared to be the victors Tuesday night.
Incumbent Rock Island County Treasurer Louisa (Terronez) Ewert was re-elected to that office in an unopposed race. With 100 percent of the vote in, Ewert had 35,206 votes.
In the race for county clerk, Kinney received 30,578 votes, and Republican challenger Russell G. Christ got 19,782 votes.
Kinney ran on a campaign centered around her experience and accomplishing a task many clerks throughout the country are trying to achieve: full digitization of their records.
In October, Kinney said her opponent had requested absentee ballots for the 2016 general election and the 2018 March 20 primary election. After receiving ballots in the mail, Christ then attempted to vote in person at the same polling location both times, but was turned away by election judges.
Christ denied any wrongdoing, but admitted to requesting the absentee ballots. He said he requested the ballots by mail for two reasons: to test the voting process and to use a ballot as a sample for constituents in his role as South Rock Island 15 precinct committeeman.
In the race for sheriff, Bustos received 31,313 votes, and Republican challenger F.C. "Keko" Martinez got 19,212.
"I am very humbled for the support and by the faith the community has put into me," Bustos said.
Bustos was appointed to the position in September 2014. His predecessor, Jeff Boyd, resigned after entering an Alford plea to a misdemeanor charge of attempted official misconduct related to allegations of stalking.
The Rock Island County Democratic Central Committee added Bustos to the ballot in 2014 as the only candidate for sheriff.
Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz said Tuesday she believes turnout in this year’s midterm elections will exceed what it was in 2014, the last non-presidential election.
As of 11 a.m., a total of 12,347 people had voted at precincts across the county, where observers were reporting heavier than normal voting. “We should outpace what we did in 2014,” Moritz said.
Counting early votes, 43,897 people had voted as of 11 a.m., according to the county, or 34 percent of all registered voters. Four years ago, 61,894 people, or 48.6 percent of registered voters, had cast ballots at the end of Election Day.
The auditor’s office said today’s overall figure includes 31,550 early votes.
At The Salvation Army, Davenport, election volunteer Patrick Hart took a few extra minutes to make an announcement.
“We have a first-time voter here!” he shouted. And Ian Snyder, 18, walked toward the table to cast a ballot for the first time while voters and election officials applauded.
“It’s a big deal,” Hart said. “It’s a milestone.”
“I feel like I finally grew up,” Snyder said afterward. His mom, Raeanne Christiansen, beamed at him.
She said everyone should be excited on Election day. “We get to vote! We’re Americans. How exciting is that?” she said.
Both are concerned about the future of Social Security. Snyder, a West High School graduate, is a welder at Raymond Corp.
“We need better leaders so our future is proper,” Christiansen said.
Despite brisk winds and temperatures in the 40s, people arrived in steady streams throughout the morning and early afternoon, poll workers said.
Ida Berry, 87, and her daughter Janice Payne, 61, assisted voters at Third Missionary Baptist Church, Davenport, where voters greeted one another and election officials, too.
Helping was a theme at polling sites. At the Fairmount branch of Davenport Public Library, poll workers Liz Moritz and Jeanne Sidney took a ballot to a voter who pulled up in her car for curbside service.
“People are being patient,” said Moritz, who had a count of 140 voters by 11:05 a.m. “It’s ahead a bit of what it normally is.”
Among the library voters was Bob Graff, who said that one of his concerns is funding for education. He said he voted for the people that he believes "will best serve my state."
“We’ve been very busy,” said Rick Wassmer, an election official at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Davenport. “I haven’t even got my doughnut done.”
He assisted Dorothy Gerischer, 48, who was born blind, and her mother, Thelma Gerischer, 73.
“If you don’t vote, you have no right to say anything,” said Thelma Gerischer.
Leon Smith, who served six years in the Navy, said he usually votes Republican — but not this time. "The Democrats need to have the power," he said. He got a kick out of posing in the selfie frame that was available at polls.
Maureen Currier, who said it's "our civic duty" to vote, said this was an important election because of the "umbrella of the country right now."
Democrats held a lead going into Election Day in early votes. The auditor’s office reported about 3,000 more Democrats had cast early votes than Republicans.
The polls are open in Iowa until 9 p.m.
Photos: Election Day 2018
Ian Snyder and Raeanne Christiansen
Scott County voter turnout so far
Scott County turnout at the polls as of 11 a.m. was 12,347. Added to the early votes at end of yesterday, that puts turnout at 34% of registered voters, or 43,897 total. In 2014, overall turnout was 48.6%, or 61,894 total voters. https://t.co/Y798sMb0wg
Ian Snyder, 18, voted today for the first time.His proud mom is Raeanne Christiansen. “We get to vote! We’re Americans!” she said. Linda Cook, reporting for the Quad-City Times. pic.twitter.com/QICdJztXmK
Polls are open until 9 p.m. in Iowa and 7 p.m. in Illinois and both states offer on-site registration. So, there is plenty of time to get out and vote still in the Quad-Cities! #ElectionDaypic.twitter.com/jcoH3QH5pU
Liz Moritz, left, and Jeanne Sidney, poll workers at the Fairmount branch of the Davenport Public Library, help a voter with curbside service. Linda Cook, reporting for the Quad-City Times. pic.twitter.com/BnfEfV6W3q
Ray Weiser with the IT department of Scott County roves the polling sites to ensure all is well. He just left the Fairmount branch of the Davenport Public Library. Linda Cook, reporting for the Quad-City Times. pic.twitter.com/hv4bV7yMUA
Bob Graff voted today at the Fairmount branch of the Davenport Public Library with education in mind. He says it’a important to find schools and teacher salaries. Linda Cook, reporting for the Quad-City Times. pic.twitter.com/XgYymVp6ch
Stephanie Canterbury is helping at the polls at New Hope Presbyterian Church, Davenport. Voters are remarking that they are glad there is a good turnout. New Hope had 153 voters by 10:25 am. Linda Cook, reporting for the Quad-City Times. pic.twitter.com/kFvhWwOBNg
Dorothy Gerischer, 48, and her mom Thelma Gerischer, 73, said Rick Wassmer, who assisted them with voting at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Davenport, was very kind. Dorothy Gerischer was born blind. Linda Cook, reporting for the Quad-City Times. pic.twitter.com/OEKoEa1Ub0