Iowans will elect county supervisors and vote on many local ballot initiatives across the state tomorrow, so I thought I’d put up a thread for Bleeding Heartland readers to discus any local races of interest. Iowa City’s vote on the 21-only bar ordinance will be the most closely-watched city election result. If the “yes” side prevails, the city’s ordinance barring 19- and 20-year-olds from bars after 10 pm will be thrown out. If “no” wins, the ordinance will stand. Strong early voting among University of Iowa students suggests that the ordinance will be tossed out. If I lived in Iowa City, I’d vote no. To my mind, this is a public safety issue, and the drop in downtown crime since the ordinance went into effect is compelling. I see no reason to make Iowa City a drinking destination for underage people in a large area of eastern Iowa. People who view this as a rights issue should be agitating to lower the drinking age.
In Polk County, the most contested local race is in the third supervisor’s district, where former Republican Congressional candidate Dave Funk is challenging two-term incumbent Tom Hockensmith (more background here). Funk is running on a small-government, lower-taxes agenda. He also claims Polk County isn’t spending enough on public safety. I have heard that Funk is advertising on the radio, but I haven’t caught any of those commercials, so I don’t know the script. Hockensmith has been up on Des Moines television stations with a 30-second ad for the last week or two. A transcript of the Hockensmith commercial is after the jump.
Funk has some ground to make up tomorrow. According to Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald, as of November 1 his office had received 4,588 absentee ballots from registered Democrats in the third supervisor’s district, 2,595 from Republicans, 1,157 from no-party voters and 5 from voters with some other registration. In 2006, Hockensmith defeated Republican Wes Enos by 16,936 votes to 11,121.
Any comments on local Iowa elections are welcome in this thread.
Commercial for Polk County Supervisor Tom Hockensmith on Des Moines television:
Hockensmith speaks to the camera: My parents taught me to work hard, make the right decisions and to always be honest. That is exactly what I’ve tried to do as your county supervisor.
I’ve worked hard for our neighborhoods, communities and services that benefit seniors and children. [photos of Hockensmith with hardhat workers, police officer, what looks like the East High School softball team]
My opponent is trying to distort my record and blur the facts, but in Polk County, hard work and honesty still mean something. I ask for your support, because I consider it an honor to serve as county supervisor, and will always try to make the right decision for you. [words on screen: HOCKENSMITH POLK COUNTY SUPERVISOR Listener Leader Fighter Paid for by Hockensmith for supervisor]