Dubuque Co.: Democrat House Speaker retains seat, other results - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Co.: Democrat House Speaker retains seat, other results


DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Incumbent Democrat Speaker of the House Pat Murphy beat Republican challenger Paul Kern.

Dubuque businessman of more than 30 years and Republican Paul Kern gave Democrat Speaker of the House Pat Murphy a run for his money in the race for House District 28, which covers the majority of southern Dubuque. Murphy beat him by only 340 votes, of the total 9,930 total votes cast for the two candidates.

The final percentages were 51.71 percent, Murphy and 48.29 percent, Kern.

Murphy said in an October interview with KWWL, "Our goal is to continue to do whatever we can to spur the economy, knowing the government is not the answer but it can help in ways that put people back to work for shorter periods of time and help bring companies to Iowa for the long term."

"Pat Murphy's been a wonderful Representative for the southern half of Dubuque for many years, and we're very proud that he'll continue to represent us," Chair of the Dubuque County Democrats Terry Stewart said. "He does a wonderful job as Speaker of the House, too."

Dubuque's other House District, 27, also retained its incumbent Democrat. Chuck Isenhart beat Republican challenger Hank Linden by 2,648 votes, of the 9,428 total votes cast for the two candidates.

The race ended with 64.04 percent of the votes for Isenhart and 35.96 percent of the votes for Linden.

"Any time you knock on 5,500 doors and deliver your literature straight to the doors of 6,500 people, that does have an effect," Isenhart said.

"We're very elated to retain both of the House seats," Stewart said.

One Dubuque upset came as Dubuque County Supervisor Republican candidate Daryl Klein ousted Democrat county supervisor of more than 30 years Donna Smith by only 93 votes. This win is more pronounced by the fact that Dubuque has not had a Republican supervisor for 58 years. Incumbent supervisor Democrat Eric Manternach pulled in the highest number of votes, and Republican candidate Curt Kiessling got the least of the four.

Manternach received 28.58 percent of the 60,797 total votes cast for the two candidates, with 17,376 votes. Next came newly-elected Klein, with 25.73 percent of the votes - or 15,644 votes. Smith came in just 93 shy of Klein, with 15,551 votes, comprising 25.58 percent of the total. Kiessling got 20.11 percent of the vote with 12,226 people voting for him.

Manternach said having a new supervisor - and one from another party - won't be a problem.

"We really don't look at Republican, Democrat when we're making a decision," he said, "so our race could very well be non-partisan."

Stewart said he hasn't seen a supervisor race like this before.

"I haven't seen quite this much attention given to the supervisors race, and, as I mentioned, I'm sorry to see Donna come out on the short end of that result," Stewart said.

Dubuque County voters also decided three ballot initiatives.

A majority of them chose to continue gambling at Dubuque Greyhound Park at Mystique Casino and Diamond Jo Casino. Voters will be asked to decide on the same questions eight years from now in the general election. Both casino ballot questions received a "yes" for continued gambling from more than 80 percent of their respective total votes cast.

Finally, voters decided the Dubuque County Agricultural Extension District should be subject to a change in the annual tax levy for extension educational purposes. That means the Dubuque County Iowa State Extension office will see an increase in funding, which they haven't had since 1985.

Dubuque County Extension Vice President Esther Farnum said in an October interview with KWWL, "we are only one of six counties that has not passed this, and we are the only urban county that has not passed this. Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines all your bigger counties have passed it."

Farnum said the extension offers not only agricultural services, but also nutrition and health education and classes on science, technology, parenting and skill development.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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