MASON CITY — In two of the closest Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors races in the county’s history, Democrat Lori Meacham Ginapp beat Republican Don O’Connor by five votes for the District 3 seat, while incumbent Republican Chris Watts beat Democratic challenger Amanda Ragan by 11 votes in the District 1 race.
== Ginapp won the election with 2280 votes, compared to 2275 cast for O’Connor for a two-year term on the supervisors. Ginapp tells KGLO News that it proves that every vote counts in an election. “I think people need to know that, they think ‘oh will my vote count?’ Yes it will count, and that people need to get out and vote for what they believe in.”
Ginapp was happy with the narrow result. “Yes it was a very close race. I’m very honored that the Cerro Gordo County citizens chose me to be their supervisor and I’m ready for this next step.”
Attempts to reach O’Connor on Tuesday evening were unsuccessful.
Full interview with Ginapp
== Watts beat Ragan by a 2914-2903 margin. He says he was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. “Very very surprising. I want to start by thanking my supporters for their vote with their thoughts and their prayers. I congratulate all the other winners, it’s been a very tough race. I had a very worthy opponent and I want to thank her for running a clean, clean race.”
Watts says the county has a lot facing it right now, something that the voters were aware of when they went to the polls. “We have the Carbon Solutions on the use of eminent domain, the wind turbines and solar issues facing the county here in the next year or two. Those are huge issues. I’ve been very well versed on them the last year or so, and I’m ready to address those as it goes forward.”
For Ragan, the loss comes on the heels of retiring from two decades worth of service in the Iowa Senate. She tells KGLO News that she plans to continue to contribute her efforts to the community. “I’m going to continue being involved in the community and I always will be. I enjoyed my time in the Iowa Senate, and you know when one door closes, something else opens up, and I’m more than happy to serve in other capacities, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next opportunity is.”
Ragan says with an 11-vote margin, she will consider asking for a recount. “I wouldn’t if it was a wider margin, but when it’s that close, I think that makes more sense at this point. It may not change the outcome, but I believe that 11 votes, it’s right for the voters to do it.”
Iowa law requires that a candidate must request that a recount take place.
Full interview with Watts
Full interview with Ragan
=== In the other supervisors race, incumbent Republican Casey Callanan was unopposed in his re-election bid.
=== There was one other contested race on the Cerro Gordo County ballot as Republican Nikki Fessler beat Democrat Peggy Meany 9566-7042 to win the County Treasurer’s position. Democrat Pat Wright announced earlier this year she would not run for re-election.
== Two other races were uncontested in Cerro Gordo County with Recorder AnnMarie Legler and County Attorney Carlyle Dalen winning re-election.