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Tama County General Election showdown Tuesday in county attorney, state rep. races

November 5, 2018
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Unlike a face-to-face courtroom battle, the race for Tama County Attorney seems to have been fought primarily in the Letters to the Editor section, with advertising and yard signs, and for some, in social media.

Nine-term County Attorney Brent Heeren (R-Toledo) faces a challenge from a former assistant in his office, Mike Marquess (D-Rural Garwin.)

Both are veterans in the law field. Heeren's record is open as county attorney serving in the post for 36 years.

Article Photos

Marquess, along with serving as an assistant Tama County Attorney has been a prosecutor for 10 years including stints in the Sac and Fox Tribal Court system and was a magistrate for Poweshiek County. He has been in private practice for six years and serves several Tama County towns as city attorney.

Heeren stresses his success in prosecuting criminal cases and in child protection. Marquess also cites his own record as an attorney and has challenged Heeren's arrangement for unpaid court fines with the Benton County Attorney's office.

The current assistant Tama County Attorney Michael Bandy, has questioned Marquess' voter eligibility in Tama County. In a recent Letter to the Editor he reported a hearing on the matter is set on Nov. 7 for the Tama County auditor to hear evidence.

Fact Box

Polls Open:

Tuesday, Nov. 6

7 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Early voting: Tama County Administration Building, 104 W. State St., Toledo:

Mon.- 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Election returns: &

Tama News-Herald- Nov. 9 issue

Tama County Auditor Laura Kopsa said Monday a hearing for that date is set but did not confirm if it involved a challenge to Marquess' voter registration. The Board of Supervisors did approve hiring John Roehrick, Des Moines, as outside legal counsel for a challenge to voter registration.

Kopsa also said Monday it is possible the hearing may be postponed.

State Representative District72

Dean Fisher (R-Rural Montour) is being challenged for his State Representative District 72 seat by Mindy Benson (D-Tama.)

In what has appeared to be a low-key race, little in the way of public comment in Letters to the Editor have been received.

Fisher is seeking reelection to a 4th term. Benson is the Tama County Emergency Management and E911 director.

The 72nd District includes all of Tama County, primarily the Southern and western portions of Marshall County and the southeastern section of Black Hawk County including LaPorte City.

There are on contests for three other Tama County Courthouse positions. 1st District Supervisors Larry Vest (R-Rural Traer), Treasurer Michelle Yuska (R-Toledo) and Recorder Deborah Kupka (R-Rural Clutier) are unopposed.

National ,State Races To Be Decided

Tama County voters will also cast ballots in these races:

U.S. House District 1- incumbent Rod Blum (R-Dubuque)challengers -Abby Finkenauer (D-Dubuque) Troy Hageman, (L) Calmar

Governor/Lieutenant Governor- incumbent Kim Reynolds / Adam Gregg (R) challengers- Fred Hubell / Rite Hart (D), Jack Porter / Lynne Gentry (L), Gary Siegwarth / Natalia Blaskovich (Clear Water Party of Iowa)

Secretary of State- incumbent Paul Pate (R) challengers- Deidre DeJear (D), Jules Ofenbakh (L)

Auditor of State- incumbent Mary Mosiman (R) challengers- Rob Sand (D), Fred Perryman (L)

Treasurer of State: incumbent Michael L. Fitzgerald (D) challengers- Jeremy N. Davis (R), Timothy Hird (L)

Secretary of Agriculture- Mike Naig (R), Tim Gannon (D), Rick Stewart (L)

Attorney General- incumbent Tom Miller (D) challenger- Marco Battaglia (L)

Judge Retention

Three Judicial District 6 judges who serve Tama and the other five counties making up the District are on the ballot for retention this year.

The District Court Judges are Andrew B. Chappell, Paul Miller and Mitchell E. Turner.

Tama County

Extension Council

Five candidates are on this year's ballot for seats the Tama County Extension Council.

They include Jackie Skala, rural Tama; Cathy Gethmann, Gladbrook: Donald Linnenbrink, rural Beaman; Judy Morrison, rural Traer; and Lance Wauters, rural Elberon.



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