Two of Four Supervisor Candidates Invited to Meet & Greet Held by Local Non-Profit

Mahaska County Supervisor Candidate Steve Wanders address the group TARA at a candidate meet and greet on Thursday night.

Mahaska County Supervisor Candidate Steve Wanders addresses the group TARA at a candidate meet and greet on Thursday night.

By Hailey Brown

(Leighton, Iowa) – Current Mahaska County Supervisor Mark Doland’s recent resignation, in light of information that he no longer lives in Mahaska County and thus is ineligible to serve on the board, has created an opportunity for a Republican primary candidate winner to potentially be appointed before the November election to the board of supervisors.

One non-profit area group, Taxpayers Against Regional Airport (TARA), invited only two of the four total Republican candidates running for Supervisor in the June Primary to a meeting held at Leighton Christian Reformed Church on Thursday, May 10, for what was promoted online as a “Meet and Greet with Mahaska County Supervisor Candidates”.

The agenda for the meeting emphasized that “this election is for two members and could be filled with two candidates opposing the regional airport, giving the board a full three votes of opposition to the [airport] proposal.”

Steve Wanders and Steve Parker, both Farm Bureau members against the proposed South Central Regional Airport, pitched to meeting attendees their background and fielded questions from the group about the airport, eminent domain, their views on the current Emergency Management/911 radio systems, and why they’re prepared to step up to the plate and serve on the board.

“One reason I’m running is my wife says, ‘You spend every night, all your time in meetings and you get nothing – you might as well get a job where you get paid,’” candidate Steve Wanders said light-heartedly as the room laughed. “I like it. I like the dynamics of it all, I guess to a point, and when you’re involved you’re either gonna get involved, or you’re not gonna be involved, and that’s why I’m running,” he concluded.

Candidate Steve Parker admitted that he and Wanders had almost the exact same viewpoints when it came to topics of importance, but had a slightly different answer for why he decided to run.

“I don’t have any opposite opinions of Steve [Wanders] that I know of…” he disclosed. “The EMA and airport deal got me disturbed because I just can’t seem to throw money like that and they want something, and they just get it… That’s kind of where I’m at,” Parker concluded.

Republican candidates Henry “Willie” Van Weelden and Paul R. DeGeest were not present at the meeting.

Although offered a platform to pitch to potential voters why they’re the right fit for the job, representatives who helped moderate stressed that it is not TARA’s role to promote specific candidates due to their legal, non-profit status. However, they claimed that the group may do messaging on issues and create signs opposing the airport, urging individuals to support candidates opposed to the regional airport.

“We can’t say, as TARA, vote for so and so,” said TARA rep Kathryn Kaul-Goodman. “But certainly, we encourage all of you as individuals to go out and do that.”

After the meeting, yard signs and candidate propaganda were dispersed to attendees, and some were welcomed to stick around the church and talk with the candidates on a more one-on-one basis.

To learn about all four of the Republican candidates that will be on the Primary ballot on June 5, voters may attend a Supervisor Candidate Forum held by Oskaloosa News on Tuesday, May 22 at Penn Central Mall at 7:00 PM. The focus of this forum will not be to endorse or encourage any particular candidate or views but instead to give voters the chance to ask questions about a wide variety of topics and hear from each candidate that will be on the ballot. All are welcome.

To learn more about voting and voter registration, click here. –



Posted by on May 13 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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