A field of nine was narrowed to six candidates for the Scott County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, setting up a competitive general election for three board positions.
Davenport attorney Jazmin Newton, outgoing and resident Blue Grass supervisor Brinson Kinzer, and St. Ambrose University professor Joseph Miller, listed in order of top voters, will be on the ballot for Democrats .
For Republicans, incumbent state legislator Ross Paustian, outgoing supervisor and dairy farm owner John Maxwell, and former Pleasant Valley school board member and attorney Jean Dickson will be on the ballot.
The six will compete for three spots on the Scott County Board of Supervisors, which governs the county – passing a budget, levying taxes and managing county property and staff.
The first three voters in November will be sworn in to the three seats overall in January 2023.
For Democrats, Newton garnered 1,400 more votes than the next closest Democrat, incumbent Kinzer, in Tuesday’s election. She got 5,486 votes, Kinzer received 4,034 votes and Miller got 3,582 votes, according to unofficial counts from election night.
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Newton, a Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce board member, local and state LULAC council leader, and Bi-State Commission member, ran for supervisor in 2020. In that race, she lost by less than 70 votes against current President Ken Beck, a Republican.
Newton said she was pleasantly surprised to see she was the top vote-getter by such a wide margin in the five-man race.
“This campaign isn’t about me, it’s about us, we’re bringing people together from all walks of life,” Newton said.
Ahead of the general election, Newton said she plans to step up her efforts to meet, register and educate voters to encourage strong turnout in the race for supervisors. In 2020, she said, she held no meet-and-greet events and dropped off campaign pamphlets at door knocks instead of talking face-to-face.
“Now we have the ability to meet people, talk to them face to face, and I think that makes a difference,” Newton said.
Paustian, the highest-voting Republican with 5,929 votes, is retiring from the Iowa Legislature and is a household name in Scott County Republican politics. Maxwell received 5,127 votes and Dickson 4,267.
Vote totals are unofficial pending county polls.
Paustian said he would campaign for the general election the same way he campaigned for the primaries: “Talk about what I’ve accomplished as a lawmaker and how that can transition to the board of overseers. ”
“I think fiscal responsibility is the first thing we talk about,” Paustian said. Adequate funding for the sheriff’s office, he said, is another top priority.
In a six-man race, the election of supervisors will be unlike any other type of head-to-head race he has faced as a lawmaker since the top three voters will win the election for the seats at large.
With the 10-year redistricting process, Paustian was dragged into a district with another Republican incumbent — Rep. Bobby Kaufmann — and elected to run in the overseer spot.
The two incumbent supervisors — Democrat Kinzer and Republican Maxwell — each finished with the second-most votes in their respective primaries.
Kinzer is a union electrician and construction trainer from Blue Grass, who prior to his two terms as supervisor was the town mayor of Scott County.
Maxwell owns Cinnamon Ridge Dairy Farms in Donahue and also serves on the North Scott School Board.
The last two voters, Republican Dickson and Democrat Miller, each have some experience in public service.
More recently, Dickson elected to lead Bettendorf City Council in 2021 instead of another term on the Pleasant Valley School Board. She lost that race to outgoing board member Lisa Brown.
Miller, a business professor, was nominated to temporarily fill a seat on the Davenport City Council by Mayor Mike Matson.
In other departmental races in November:
For the county attorney, Democrat Caleb Copley, the current assistant Scott County attorney, will face Republican Kelly Cunningham Haan, who works in the Muscatine County Attorney’s Office and lives in Bettendorf. They are running to replace retired county attorney Mike Walton.
In the race for county auditors, Kerri Tompkins, a Republican, will be on the ballot for the first time after supervisors named her as auditor last May. Democrat Ashley Schimanski, a Davenport business owner, is running against her.
Rita Vargas is seeking a sixth term as Scott County Recorder. Vargas, a Democrat, was first elected in 2002. Michele Darland, a Republican and resident of Davenport, filed a lawsuit challenging the incumbent for 19 years.
The Civil Status Office issues marriage licenses, registers births and deaths, issues civil status certificates and processes passport applications. The office is also responsible for registering and maintaining official records related to real estate titles and also issues hunting and fishing licenses and records and titles for recreational vehicles, such as boats, ATVs and snowmobiles.
Tony Knobbe, currently incumbent Republican Supervisor, is running unopposed in the ballot for Scott County Treasurer. His term on the board of oversight won’t last until the 2024 election cycle, which would leave a vacancy on the board if he is elected county treasurer.