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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Ringgenberg wins BV primary race; some unusual write-ins

Thursday, June 5, 2008

There were few contested races to decide, but several hundred voters in Buena Vista County dutifully trooped to the polls for Tuesday's primary - a turnout of just 6.4 percent.

There was just one local primary race on the Republican side of the ballot, and none for Democrats.

For the Republicans, Rhonda Ringgenberg defeated Mark Redenbaugh in County Supervisor District 4, 414 votes (70%) to 174, to advance to the general election against Democrat John Fitzpatrick.

Ringgenberg noted that she hasn't run on any particular issues, while her primary opponent heavily stressed econonomic development.

"Most people have just encouraged me to keep working hard. I happen to know a lot of people, and have been involved with the business community for a long time, and I think that helped me," Ringgenberg said.

"I had some good helpers making calls and reminding people to go vote."

She said her immediate plans are to continue working to learn about the many responsibilities of the supervisors office.

There were some surprises that don't show up in the lists of results - particularly on the Democrat side, where no strong write-in campaigns were launched for three positions in which they had no candidates.

For sheriff, Gary Launderville received six Democrat votes, enough to qualify him to run - against himself. He is already the Republican candidate for sheriff, and will presumably decline the Democratic nomination.

Paul Peterson, local marijuana decriminalization advocate, had four votes for sheriff - just short of the 35% of all party votes for the office needed to qualify him as the Democratic candidate, according to Strawn. A number of others got one write-in each, including Chuck Eddy, the current sheriff who is retiring, and Russ Eddie, a former state representative and staunch Republican.

For auditor, Democrat write-ins included Strawn herself, the Republican incumbent for the office, and Sheriff Eddy. No one had enough write-ins to be nominated for the Democrats.

There were nine write ins for State Senator of the Democrat side, no one getting enough to be nominated from this county. Paul Peterson had one vote there, too.

Local voters were split on the one state GOP contest, to decide the Republican who will try to unseat longtime Senator Tom Harkin later this year.

George Eichhorn won 188 votes (41%), Christopher Reed 136 and Steve Rathje 131.

Statewide, Reed, a 36-year-old newcomer to politics, won a narrow victory with just over 35 percent of the vote, the minimum needed to gain the nomination. Former state representative Eichhorn had about 34.74 percent of the vote, and Rathje about 30 percent. A recount could be ordered to ensure that Reed has enough votes to qualify.

Iowa Senator Steve Kettering got all 508 votes from his party in the BV County portion of his district. There were six write-ins against U.S. Rep. Steve King, who had 500 votes from his party, while opponent Rob Hubler had all 158 votes in the Democrat primary. Local unopposed sheriff's candidate Gary Launderville had 521 votes to eight Republican write-ins.

On the Democrat side, where there were no races, turnout was much lighter.

Russ Camerer, running for State Representative against Gary Worthan, had 137 votes.

With so few races, Commissioner of Elections Strawn was not suprised by the low turnout. And the new same-day registration policy taking effect for the first time in Iowa, had no impact on the local voting. No voters registered at the polls in the county Tuesday.

Election officials will be watching closely to determine if same day registration may increase voter involvement in the presidential election coming up in November.

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