The Democrats swept election night in Wapello County.
President Barack Obama took the majority of the votes, winning 8,616, while Republican candidate Mitt Romney took 6,777 votes. Out of the 24,009 registered voters in the county, 15,778 ballots were cast, according to the unofficial results Tuesday night.
State Rep. Mary Gaskill also retained her position, winning 7,668 votes over her Republican opponent, Blake Smith, who won 5,144 votes.
Gaskill’s new district, House District 81, covers the eastern half of Wapello County, including Ottumwa, Agency and Eldon.
“I’d been hearing a lot of good reports prior to [the election],” Gaskill said. “Even when I’ve gone grocery shopping, or wherever, four to five people would come up and say they’d voted for me.”
Gaskill said it was her experience — she will enter her sixth term in office in January — and her work with constituents that got her re-elected.
“Education. We’ve got to do something with education,” Gaskill said. “We’ve got to the point where we need more competition, where we bring up educational standards.”
Gaskill said she will also tackle jobs — “of course,” she said — as well as property tax relief.
She said she welcomes ideas for her next term and constituents can contact her at email@example.com.
Local Option Sales Tax was extended in Ottumwa and all municipalities in Wapello County except Eldon.
Ottumwa City Administrator said he was happy with the results.
“We’re sorry it didn’t pass in Eldon, though,” Helfenberger said. “We feel it’s been a big help to all cities in Wapello County.”
Helfenberger said he hadn’t heard a lot of negativity surrounding the 1 percent tax.
“I talked to lots of people in the community, in the county, and it seemed for the most part that they understand the need for it,” he said. “Even the people who came out initially against it, some told me they support it, they were just concerned that it would keep the same amount of street projects we were doing in the past.”
Of the millions of dollars Ottumwa will receive from the tax, 10 percent will go toward property tax relief and 90 percent will go toward streets and sewers.
“Based on an estimate by our finance director [Bob Jay], he’s estimating roughly 52 to 53 percent will go toward streets of the 90 percent,” Helfenberger said.
Helfenberger said the success of the tax extension was thanks to local organizations who got the word out and provided voters with information, including the Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation and the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce.
“We’re looking to continue work on rebuilding our streets, which are in very much need of having improvements,” he said.
County attorney Lisa Holl, county auditor Kelly Spurgeon and county supervisor Steve Siegel all retained their positions. Mark Miller was elected county sheriff.
Local Option Sales Tax passes Ottumwa, Wapello County municipalities
The Democrats swept election night in Wapello County.
- City to purchase radios, antennas OTTUMWA — New communications equipment will soon sit atop the Memorial Park water tower. At its meeting Tuesday night, the City Council approved the emergency purchase of new radios, antennas and related equipment to be secured on the water tower. Af
New communications tower assembled
OTTUMWA — Ottumwa's newest 250-foot structure was constructed in just more than four hours.
Storefronts to get a big facelift
OTTUMWA -- A fresh set of facades in one city block could build momentum for the revitalization of downtown Ottumwa. The city has received conditional approval for a $500,000 grant from the Iowa Economic Development Authority's downtown master facade
Tenco productivity increases thanks to new equipment
OTTUMWA — There's nothing like good partners who team up and improve the world around them. Tenco Industries and John Deere Ottumwa Works have teamed up to improve the way Tenco workers handle all the containers they receive for recycling and other
Date set in Pam Ward retrial
A date has been set for the retrial of former Ottumwa Transit Authority Director Pam Ward.
- Changes coming to council chambers OTTUMWA — Four city officials are up for re-election this fall, though only two plan on running. Mayor Frank Flanders, as well as Councilmen Bob Meyers, Brian Morgan and Jeremy Weller, will finish out their terms at the end of this year. "Things are
Hatchet attack suspect pleads guilty
OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa man charged in last summer's hatchet attack is headed to prison. Charles Julian Jason Zwer, 27, pleaded guilty this month to willful injury causing serious injury, a Class C felony, and assault while participating in a felony, a
Lightning damages city communications equipment
OTTUMWA — After lightning struck the water tower in Memorial Park, the public works department has been struggling to communicate with the city's pump stations. In May, lightning struck Memorial Park's water tower, damaging nearly $20,000 worth of ra
- Trial set in 1974 murder case OTTUMWA — The man accused of murdering a 17-year-old Ottumwa girl 39 years ago will stand trial this fall. Robert Eugene Pilcher, 67, was charged with first-degree murder in November after DNA evidence linked him to the death of Mary Jayne Jones, 17,
- Ottumwan arrested for sexual assault OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Police Department has arrested an Ottumwa man on a sexual assault charge. The OPD reported that on Friday, law enforcement received a report that a 14-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted. During the course of the initial i
- More Ottumwa Headlines