Rod Sullivan, Supervisor, Johnson County, Iowa

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June 9, 2016

Sullivan’s Salvos     6/14/16

In this edition:

*Thank You!
*Election Results
*Election Thoughts
*City-County Relations
*Pride Events
*Did You Know?

*Thank You!
         I was reelected on Tuesday with 62% of the vote. Boy, does that ever feel good! Needless to say, I have several people to thank:

1.   My wife, Melissa Fath. It is not easy to be the spouse of an elected official. I am SO blessed to have Melissa as my partner!
2.   My mother, Susan Sullivan Smith. Mom handed out a gazillion brochures. She worked her tail off, plain and simple.
3.   My kids. They march in parades and do all sorts of other tasks they do not enjoy doing. They are troopers!
4.   The voters. I have worked really hard. I think we’ve accomplished some great things. It feels great to know the voters approve!
5.   My Treasurer, Gary Smith. Keeping track of the money and filing the official reports is tedious, thankless work. I could not serve without Gary’s dedicated behind-the-scenes service!
6.   The other candidates. There are some strong differences of opinion, but every candidate treated me with nothing but kindness and respect.
7.   The Iowa City Federation of Labor. City Fed is not only a source of funds and volunteers; it is a source of friends. I am so proud to be a delegate to Iowa City Fed!

There are plenty of other people I could thank, but readers would grow weary of the whole list. Please allow me to just offer a big THANK YOU! to everyone who helped with this election. I promise to do my best to make you proud!

*Election Results
         The top of the ticket featured a race for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate. Former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge defeated Rob Hogg by a comfortable margin, 48-39%, even though Hogg got 60% here in Johnson County. Candidates Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause trailed with and 6.8 and 6.7%, respectively.

Another important race was in House District 77, where two Democrats and two Republicans squared off for the right to face each other in the fall. On the GOP side, former Tiffin Mayor Royce Phillips defeated Paula Dreeszen of Iowa City handily, 72-28%. On the Democratic side, North Liberty Mayor Amy Nielsen defeated Tiffin resident Abby Weipert by a count of 63-36%.

You know I was interested in the Supervisor race! This race saw 6 candidates running for 3 seats, and when the dust cleared, I was the top vote getter with 5077 votes (62%). Fellow incumbent Lisa Green Douglass finished second with 4344 votes (53%), and Kurt Friese took the final seat with 4032 votes (49%).

         There were also uncontested races for Sheriff and Auditor, with incumbents Lonny Pulkrabek and Travis Weipert cruising to victory.

*Election Thoughts
         Those of us who are intimately involved in elections are often guilty of thinking that everyone cares as much as we do. Fact is, no one cares as much as we do.

         This election was a classic case of something being a really big deal to a really small group of people. There was lots of noise on social media, but turnout was a pathetic 11%. So while there were definitely several small groups of people causing a fuss, the emphasis there is that they were small groups.

         You hear many people talk about the upcoming Presidential election as a choice between the lesser of two evils. (Polls show these are the two least popular candidates in the history of the polls.) The County Supervisor race had a hint of this as well: who made you angrier? The local “activist” whose efforts have done a great deal to hurt Democrats over the past few cycles? Or the GOP stalwarts like John Dane, John Balmer, and the rest trying to steal a Democratic Party Primary? Whichever chaps you most, there were reasons to be angry.

         The big winner? Organized labor. Once again, the Iowa City Federation of Labor put a great deal of time and money into the election, and once again their endorsed candidates won.

         The local Democratic Party needs to have a couple difficult conversations. Once that gets done, I am going to go to work and attempt to build upon the many great things that have happened over the past ten years. I hope others will join me.

*County-City Relations
         There were several letters to the editor (almost all for one particular candidate) that claimed we needed to elect that candidate “to improve City/County relations.”

         The letter writers are stuck in the past! I’ve been following City and County politics closely for 25 years (at least). The relationship between Iowa City and Johnson County has never been better. Period. The relationship between Coralville and Johnson County is the best it has been in 20 years.

         The letter writers could not be more incorrect. Johnson County currently has a very good relationship with both Iowa City and Coralville.

*Pride Events
         The annual IC Pride events run all throughout the month of June. I love the annual Pride Festival, and I marvel at how far we have come. I remember Pride in the early ‘90s, being one of only a few people marching with the Johnson County Democratic Party, and being videotaped for participating. Things have sure changed!

Some upcoming Pride events: Friday night June 17, join us for a laid back evening in Upper City Park with free food till it's gone (over 200 servings). We will be serving Pizza Pit, and a vegetarian option will be available.

On Saturday, June 18, the Pride parade is at noon, followed by Pride Fest events on the Ped Mall. Everything is free and open to the public.

I am really bummed; I have a family event, and I will miss Pride for the first time in several years. All my best to all my IC Pride friends!

*DID YOU KNOW?  The record for most votes in a Democratic Supervisor Primary is Joe Bolkcom, with 5368 in 1996. I am actually serving in that exact same seat; it went from Joe to Carol Thompson in 1998, and from Carol to me in 2004. (Source: Johnson County Auditor’s Office.)

Anyone interested in learning more about County government should take a look at the County website-

"Sullivan’s Salvos" is sent once per week to any interested party. It will give a brief update on issues of interest to Johnson County residents.

These messages come solely from Rod Sullivan, and neither represents the viewpoints of the whole Board of Supervisors nor those of groups or individuals otherwise mentioned.

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As always, feel free to contact me at 354-7199 or I look forward to serving you!



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