Egan wins Democratic nomination for Iowa House District 56; Allamakee County voting results don’t differ much from broader results in June 5 Primary Election

Helping decide who will square off in the November General Election later this year, Allamakee County voters joined others statewide in casting their decisions in the Tuesday, June 5 Primary Election. Allamakee County Commissioner of Elections Denise Beyer reports that just under 10.5% of Allamakee County’s 9,892 registered voters took part in this year’s Primary Election.

“The turn-out for the 2018 Primary was pretty similar to recent Primary elections,” Beyer explained. “In 2012 there was a 17% turn-out, 2014 had 9% and 2016 had 17% turnout for the Primary election.”

A further breakdown of those voting statistics shows that 10.7% (457 ballots cast) of registered Republican voters made their way to the polls and 26.4% (575 ballots cast) of registered Democrats did likewise. That larger Democratic turn-out could likely be attributed to more contested races on that ballot for this year’s Primary, especially in the races for Iowa House District 56, Iowa Governor and U.S House District 1.

With new voter identification (ID) laws beginning to be implemented in Iowa with the 2018 Primary Election, Beyer said there were very few issues with that law change within her polling locations. “The new law requiring voters to show one of the types of valid ID at the polls seemed to be well-received,” she said. “We had very few voters who did not have an ID with them, who then had to sign the extra oath of identification.”

In the most local races at the County level of government, the Republican ballot for the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors featured the only multi-candidate race, with both incumbent Larry Schellhammer and current Iowa House District 56 Representative Kristi Hager listed on the ballot. However, with two seats up for election on that board in November’s General Election, both Schellhammer and Hager were able to earn the Republican nomination, Hager with 299 votes and Schellhammer with 298, with three write-in votes also being cast by Republican voters.

Incumbent Dan Byrnes was the lone candidate listed on the Democratic ballot for the Board of Supervisors race. He received 501 (97.28%) votes, with 14 write-in votes being cast from that Democratic ballot in that race. There was also one write-in vote cast in the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors race on this year’s new Libertarian Party ballot.

In other Allamakee County races, the offices of Treasurer and Recorder had just the incumbent Republican candidates listed on any ballot, with Treasurer Lori Hesse (420 votes) and Recorder Debbie Winke (409 votes) each garnering 100% of all Republican votes cast. There were eight write-in votes cast for County Treasurer on the Democratic ballot, with six being cast for County Recorder on that same ballot.

With current Allamakee County Attorney Jill Kistler not seeking re-election, Assistant Allamakee County Attorney Anthony Gericke was the lone candidate listed on any ballot for the office of County Attorney. He received 98.93% (370 votes) of the votes cast, with four write-in votes also being cast in that Republican nomination process. There were also 11 write-in votes cast from the Democratic ballot in that County Attorney race.

None of the write-in names from any of this year’s Allamakee County ballots received the required 35% of the vote needed to win nomination to the General Election ballot, according to party and office specifics of that 35% rule. No write-in choice on any of this year’s Primary Election ballots received more than six votes, but any who received at least five percent of the votes cast in each race will be listed in the official canvass of the final vote totals.

In the lone State government race involving local candidates, Lori Egan of rural Waukon won the Democratic nomination for Iowa House of Representatives District 56, which involves all of Allamakee County and all but a central western one-sixth of Clayton County. Incumbent Republican Kristi Hager is not seeking re-election to that State government seat this year, and instead is seeking a seat on the Allamakee County Board of Supervisors.

Egan won the overall nomination with a district-wide total of 744 votes (67.45%) in comparison to Andy Kelleher of New Albin and his 357 votes (32.37%). Among Allamakee County voters, Egan showed more favor, as she garnered 72.02% of the vote (399 votes) in comparison to Kelleher’s 27.98% (155 votes), with Kelleher actually garnering more votes in Clayton County (202) than he did in Allamakee.

In Hager’s absence, there was no declared candidate on the Republican ballot for Iowa House District 56. There were, however, 14 write-in votes cast in Allamakee County and 35 Republican write-in votes cast throughout the District 1 polls for that seat.

The multi-candidate Democratic race for Iowa Governor saw only a slight difference between Allamakee County voters and the final statewide numbers, but none impacting the final nomination of Fred Hubbell as the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Kim Reynolds in November’s General Election. Hubbell’s voter support in Allamakee County (51.69%-291 votes) was slightly lower than on a statewide basis (55.52%).

The most noted difference in that race was John Norris finishing second among Allamakee County voters with 18.29% (103 votes) of the vote but dropping to third in the final statewide results with just 11.44% of that vote. Cathy Glasson leap-frogged Norris from local to statewide results, as she received just 14.21% (80 votes) of the vote to finish third among Allamakee County voters but gained greater supporter (20.47%) among statewide voters to finish second among the final Democratic results in that nomination race. Andrea (Andy) McGuire’s 9.41% (53 votes) among Allamakee County voters also fell to just 5.24% on a statewide basis, with Ross Wilburn and dropped-out candidate Nate Boulton remaining nearly the same between local and statewide results with right around two percent and five percent of the vote, respectively, in each race.

In its lone contested race on its new ballot with this year’s election, the Libertarian nomination for Iowa Governor went to Jake Porter with 54.38% (962 votes) of the statewide vote in comparison to the 38.33% (678 votes) garnered by Marco Battaglia. That same fortune played out to a greater degree among the limited number of Libertarian voters in Allamakee County, where Porter received three votes (75%) and Battaglia just one (25%).

The only other contested State government race on the Democratic ballot was for Secretary of State, where Deidre DeJear won the Democratic nomination with 51.09% of the vote over Jim Mowrer’s 48.73%. That race wasn’t quite as tight in Allamakee County, with DeJear garnering 53.99% (264 votes) of the vote to Mowrer’s 45.81% (224 votes).

The only race on any of this year’s Primary ballots that differed significantly between Allamakee County voters in comparison to statewide results was the Republican nomination for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. Incumbent candidate Mike Naig actually finished second among Allamakee County voters with 24.54% of the votes cast - behind Dan Zumbach’s 38.26% locally, in comparison to Naig’s statewide-leading 34.74%, where he finished well ahead of Zumbach’s 21.38%. Regardless, that nomination will have to be decided by Republican party leaders at a June 16 State Convention because none of the five candidates in that Republican race achieved the 35% threshold required to win the nomination.

All other State government races on either the Republican or Democratic ballot were uncontested and featured basically the same percentage result when comparing Allamakee County to statewide voting results. In all of those State level races where there was a lone candidate listed on the ballot, whether incumbent or otherwise, vote percentages within the 99% mark remained at both the Allamakee County and statewide voting levels.

In the lone Federal level of government race on this year’s Primary ballot, current Iowa House of Representatives District 99 representative Abby Finkenauer won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Representative District 1, with the final voting percentage numbers not straying too far from Allamakee County to overall District 1 results. Finkenauer won the nomination with 66.90% of the District 1 vote, with her support being slightly less among Allamakee County voters at 65.28% (361 votes). She will now face incumbent Rod Blum, whose 99% voter support as the lone declared candidate on the Republican Primary ballot carried through from the more local Allamakee County to District 1 results.

Candidate George Ramsey’s support remained nearly even at approximately 6.5% between Allamakee County voters and the broader District 1 numbers. Thomas Heckroth garnered slightly less favor (17.18%) in Allamakee County than he did throughout District 1 (19.18%), with Courtney Rowe experiencing the reverse of that trend with 10.85% of the Allamakee County vote in comparison to just 7.52% of the district-wide vote.

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