MUSCATINE — Elections are over, campaign signs are coming down and people are going back to work, with some new and and some familiar faces representing Muscatine County.
In the race for county board of supervisors district 2, two-term incumbent Bob Howard was unseated by Democrat Doug Holliday. Howard said his reaction to the election results was "relief."
"People do not realize the responsibility that individual supervisors can have," he said.
Howard serves on the Milestones Area Agency on Aging board that oversees services for elderly residents and those with disabilities in 17 Iowa counties including Muscatine, Louisa and Scott.
He said he enjoyed helping the community but is happy to be able to spend more time with his family and at his business, Heartland Trim, Inc.
To the two new supervisors on the board, Howard wishes them the "best of luck in the world." Santos Saucedo ran unopposed in District 1.
"If they are successful, the board will be successful and the people will benefit," he said.
Holliday said he is ready to start working on two of the issues he feels need attention: funding for the Muscatine County Fair and the use of steel slag on county gravel roads.
Muscatine County will continue to have an experienced prosecutor as the chief law enforcement officer, Alan Ostergren said of his re-election.
"It was a vote of confidence that I was able to prevail where the Democrats had a tail wind," he said.
Ostergern will continue the work he says his office is already doing in prosecuting violent crimes, gang activity and drug crimes.
First time challenger, Bill Tharp has never been involved in politics before, but he said he got involved in the race because he thought he could help his community and he believes everyone should do public service "in one way or another."
The race was close with a difference of just 142 votes between them, Tharp was proud of how his campaign worked but the results didn't bring closure.
"It didn't deliver finality because it was so close," he said, but it was "good for the democratic system."
"Everybody has the chance to take a stand," he said.
Tharp has run his own private practice in West Liberty for the past 10 years and will continue to serve clients from that office.
Sarah Bodman Hearst will serve another term as county recorder and, as a taxpayer, she said that's good for the county.
"I have qualifications to serve in the office and that saves taxpayers money," she said.
Bodman Hearst said her reaction to the results was relief because she will get to continue the work she has started in the office which includes indexing land records to make them available more easily to the public.
"We have 10 years of indexes fixed already," she said.
It was a tough loss for Kas Kelly. She said she was disappointed and that running the campaign for recorder was something that she thought "needed to be done to wake up some of the people."
Even though she wasn't elected, Kelly, a mediator working on civil, family and divorce proceedings, plans to move forward.
"The world is out here and there are a lot of different opportunities," Kelly said, "and if an opportunity presents itself, I might jump in."
She said hopes through her campaign, veterans were encouraged to file certificates of release or discharge from active duty known as DD 214 forms with the office. Filing the form, a free service Kelly said, is necessary for veterans to receive benefits.