The most exciting race in Johnson county isn't the 2nd Congressional District, or even State House District 73 – its the race for county auditor.
The incumbent is Tom Slockett, first elected in 1977. When I first moved to the county I was a huge fan of Slockett. He has always made voting easily accessible, and he was among the very first county officials anywhere to establish a web site. His innovations continue today, with a QR code to help voters locate their polling places.
However, Slockett has been through a series of troubling incidents in recent years. He was arrested twice for OWI, and he has alienated both elected officials and his own employees. There are multiple reports of him yelling at his staff, and key employees have quit the office. Just yesterday, the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board reprimanded him for circulating a nominating petition among his office staff.
As a result, there has been growing dissatisfaction with Slockett among Democratic party activists. There were quiet efforts to recruit a primary challenger four years ago, which came to nothing. (In fact, I was approached about this job myself.) This year a group of elected officials have publically endorsed Travis Weipert to run against Tom Slockett.
Weipert is an Iowa native, and 2004 graduate of Mount Mercy University. He is an accountant for Aegon insurance, and a member of the Tiffin city council. He has been endorsed by State Sen. Bob Dvorsky, and State Reps Mary Mascher and Vicki Lensing. Weipert has also been endorsed by County Supervisors Rod Sullivan and Janelle Rettif, as well as County Treasurer Tom Kriz and Recorder Kim Painter. Lots of prominent local activists are also supporting him.
As you might expect after 35 years in office, Tom Slockett has many supporters, including former legislators like Dick Myers, Jean Lloyd-Jones, and David Osterberg, but I couldn't find any current, partisan elected officials on his list.
Both candidates have a fair number of yard signs out. And they have both mailed flyers, but I don't have any feel for how this will play out.