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.
- Local News
Barajas leaving OEDC
OTTUMWA — David Barajas, executive director of the Ottumwa Economic Development Corp., is leaving to take a new position economic development position in Marshalltown.
- Brighton man charged with illegally taking deer BRIGHTON — Thomas Charest, 55, of Brighton, was charged Thursday with two counts of illegal possession of whitetail deer, one count of taking a buck deer over bait, one count of taking deer out of season and one count of hunting deer without a licens
- Kids chat with Santa OTTUMWA — Santa's job will be a lot easier if he just listens to the children. Though some were shy during his recent visit to Wilson Elementary School in Ottumwa, others had very specific instructions. "I said I want Barbies and I want makeup, red a
- Court rejects Albia-area hunters' case DES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled three men with Albia ties were not unconstitutionally denied Iowa resident hunting permits. At issue was the question of whether land ownership in Iowa confers a right to hunt on the land as a resident of
- Food driving for the Lord's Cupboard OTTUMWA — Ottumwa Transit is putting a spin on what you would think of when hearing “food drive.” Instead of the classic way to get food donations, Ottumwa Transit is taking food drive a little more literally. No, the food is not driving, but there w
- Weekend snow in forecast OTTUMWA — Area residents will like one part of this weekend’s forecast: it’s going to warm up. After several days of unusually cold temperatures, forecast highs will move higher on Sunday. It’s still going to be below normal, but a Sunday high of 25
Be on watch for Alzheimer's this holiday season
OTTUMWA -- Families coming together for the holidays is possibly the best time to notice if something just isn't quite right with a loved one. Because there is more family time being spent during this time of the year, the Alzheimer's Association wan
Obamacare pricier for some Ottumwans
OTTUMWA — Some professionals are wondering why Obamacare demands a single 21-year-old male buy a pricier plan that will cover him in case he gets pregnant. "New plans must [have] all of those 'essential' requirements," said Heather Gerths, the emplo
- Pekin FFA, Hometown Harvest partnering for school lunch program PACKWOOD — The Pekin FFA program is dedicated to developing students through agricultural education, and they have shown a high interest in helping the community, too. Their success in showing innovation and agricultural progress in the community led
- Old tower agreement terminated OTTUMWA — On top of the old St. Joseph's Hospital in Ottumwa is a 70-foot antenna once used for radio communications in Wapello County. Thursday afternoon, the Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved terminating a lease agreement with Ottumwa Re
- More Local News Headlines
- Barajas leaving OEDC