Sally Stutsman's replacement on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors will be chosen in a March 5 special election.
The statutory committee of Treasurer Tom Kriz, Recorder Kim Painter and Auditor Travis Weipert met this morning and opted to go directly to a special election, rather than making an appointment.
The filing deadline for a March 5 election is February 7, 25 days before the election. Democrats had anticipated the committee opting for the straight to election route, and have already scheduled a nominating convention for the evening of Thursday, January 31, at Northwest Junior High. Two Democrats, county party chair Terry Dahms and vice chair Mike Carberry, have announced.
(Here's a nyah-nyah nya-nyah-nyah to the Republicans For A Day who
crossed over for Ron Paul last year: The delegates to the supervisor
convention are the same delegates who were elected on caucus night last
January 3. If you went to the Republican caucuses, you're not a
Democratic delegate or alternate. Told ya so.)
Republicans also have the option of a convention; independent or other party candidates can petition to get on the ballot with 250 signatures. The election winner will take office a few days after the vote and serve the last two years of Stutsman's term.
The last supervisor vacancy, with the death of Larry Meyers in 2009, was filled by the appointment of Janelle Rettig. A Republican-led petition drive forced an election, which Rettig won.
The special election means three votes are likely for the first half of the year. The February 5 Iowa City School District election is already underway, and a May 7 ballot is expected for a second attempt to pass the justice center proposal.
Iowa law won't allow a school election to be combined with any non-school vote, and requires a six month wait to re-try bond issues. And the law addressing vacancies in county office requires seats to be filled by the "earliest possible" date. At last week's justice center meeting, County Attorney Janet Lyness said waiting until May 7 to fill the supervisor seat and combine the vote with a justice center vote would be too long a delay.
As for Stutsman, she takes up her new legislative duties on Monday. The county is hosting a farewell reception for Stutsman Thursday afternoon.