The Ottumwa Courier

July 11, 2013

New Wapello County recorder elected

By MARK NEWMAN Courier staff writer
Ottumwa Courier

---- — OTTUMWA — Wapello County’s new recorder says she’s ready to serve.

After the election, Lisa Kent said she was appreciative of county voters, who apparently appreciate the hard work she’s put in at the Wapello County Recorder’s Office. Kent is currently the deputy recorder. Her goal is pretty clear, she said.

“To keep the office running as smoothly as it has in the past,” Kent said.

She pulled in 858 votes; her closest challenger, Mary Margaret Riedel Butler, had 557. Betty Stromgren came in third place with 212 votes.

The first sheet handed out by the Wapello County Auditor’s Office on Tuesday showed the results of the absentee vote: Butler pulled in 217 of those votes, while Kent took only 118.

The absentee votes turned out to be the biggest “precinct” of the night, with 395 ballots received. But at the polling places, Kent dominated, including results in Agency where, with 129 votes cast, Kent landed 113 of them, nearly 90 percent.

County Supervisor Jerry Parker called recorder a position of great responsibility.

“This is the keeper of the records,” he said Tuesday.

Kent said she hopes to hire two more people to do just that.

“After the recorder left, another [employee transferred out] of the office. We’ve had two people in this four-person office. There’s plenty here to keep four people busy,” she said.

The numbers are not official until they are certified by the Wapello County Board of Supervisors. That should happen Tuesday. After that, Kent will take the oath of office, she said.

Supervisors had called for a special election after the county recorder retired. Total turnout for the election was 1,635, including absentees and one township that cast zero ballots.

Total eligible voters for that county election is 23,091. That puts voter turnout at 7 percent, which Parker said was terrible. A special election costs taxpayers $10,000 or more, he said.

— To see reporter Mark Newman’s Twitter feed, go to @couriermark.


Other post decided One other position was decided on Tuesday. Larry Howe is the new Blakesburg City Council member with 32 total votes. His nearest rival for the spot, Ryan Denison, had 30 votes. Both received 29 votes at the polls, however, Howe received three absentee ballots to Denison's one absentee vote. A total of 90 ballots were submitted. Four candidates ran for the post.