IOWA CITY– There was drama in the results of the June 3 primary election in Johnson County, which featured a higher-than-normal turnout.
Just 126 votes separated Democrats Mike Carberry and Lisa Green-Douglas in a race to collect a second spot on the November ballot for the board of supervisors.
Incumbent Democrat Janelle Rettig guaranteed her spot in the November election with 4,522 votes county-wide, while Carberry narrowly edged Green-Douglass, 3,458 to 3,332, for second. Rettig and Carberry will join incumbent Republican John Etheredge on the ballot in November as the three party-backed candidates for two seats on the county board.
“I am grateful to my supporters who voted for me,” Carberry said in an email. “I am proud to have put forth some important issues on the Land Use Plan and to have those positions affirmed by the voters. I am glad to join the rest of the Democratic Party team on the November ballot and will put forth a significant effort to ensure victories up and down the ballot.”
Carberry said he would work to gain support from all residents. “Johnson County has several important issues we need to address and I want to hear from its citizens for their ideas about how to resolve them,” he said.
Rettig and Carberry will face-off in November with incumbent Republican John Etheredge for two seats on the county board.
“Though I did not win in the primary election, I plan to continue advocating for the key issues of my campaign, especially affordable and accessible mental health services and a mobile mental health crisis response team,” Green-Douglass said in an email. “I would like to congratulate Janelle Rettig and Mike Carberry on their primary win. I’m sure they will represent us well in the general election next November.”
Green-Douglass thanked her family for their patience and support, and thanked supporters and volunteers, as well as her campaign manager, Amy Nielsen.
Diane Dunlap, the fourth candidate in the supervisor primary race, received 1,319 votes, according to results posted on the Johnson County Auditor’s website.
Almost as close statistically was the race between Democrats Dennis Boedeker and David Johnson in Iowa House District 73.
Johnson had just a 30-vote cushion in victory, winning the right to oppose incumbent Republican Bobby Kaufmann by a 547-517 margin.
House District 73 includes all of Cedar County, the City of Wilton, and six townships in eastern Johnson County, including the city of Solon.
Johnson had 11 more votes than Boedeker from Johnson County and 20 more votes in Cedar County. Boedeker won by a single vote in Wilton. In Johnson County, Johnson was staked to a preliminary 37-vote lead through early voting and the lead held up, despite more votes for Boedeker at the polling places on election day.
“It was very close,” Johnson noted in an email. “Dennis ran a clean and formidable campaign. I’m honored and humbled that the Democrats of the 73rd House District have chosen me to be their candidate. I’m looking forward to debating the issues with Bobby Kaufmann.”
Aside from both Democratic and Republican races for State Senate District 39 (see story, this page), the only other contested race in the county was for county attorney, where incumbent Democrat Janet Lyness defeated challenger John Zimmerman, 5,088-2,280.
A total of 10,885 voters took to the polls in the election, the third-highest primary total since 1984, but it represented a turnout of only 12.52 percent, according to the auditor’s results. There are 86,942 registered voters in Johnson County.
Almost a third of those who participated voted early. The auditor’s office reported that 3,376 ballots were filled out prior to the election, meaning only 7,509 utilized a polling place.
North Liberty voters were notably hesitant to appear at the polls. Only 578 of the city’s 10,100 register voters utilized their local precinct.
The highest participation rate went to Hardin Township (Cosgrove) in southwest Johnson County, where 25 percent of the registered voters cast ballots at the polling place.