SIOUX CITY -- Tuesday's election results returned all but one incumbent in Northwest Iowa to the state Legislature.
The one notable exception was two-term Republican Sen. Rick Bertrand, who lost to Democrat Jackie Smith in Senate District 7, which takes in the west and north sides of Sioux City.
Smith, a former Woodbury County board of supervisor, had 51 percent, compared to 48 percent for Bertrand, a Sioux City businessman and developer. With registered Democrats holding a slight edge in the district over Republican, it turned into one of the most contested Senate races in the state, as the candidates and their respective parties spent heavily on campaign ads.
A retired educator, Smith served two terms on the county board before losing her own re-election bid in 2016 to Republican Keith Radig. In that election, though, she carried the portion of the county that includes Senate District 7.
Bertrand, an advocate of term limits, had planned to retired from the Senate after this session, but jumped back into the race in late August after the Republican nominee, Steve Stokes of Sioux City, withdrew.
Democrats also prevailed in another legislative race in Sioux City, as Rep. Tim Kacena defeated Republican Bob Henderson in a rematch in House District 14.
Kacina, a retired firefighter, beat Henderson, 53 percent to 46 percent in a House District 14 contest. Kacena, a retired Sioux City firefighter, won his first term two years ago after narrowly defeating Henderson, a retired educator. Both political parties invested heavily in the district, which includes Sioux City's west side.
In another rematch, Bossman, a Republican, defeated Democrat Rita DeJong, 56 percent to 43 percent in House District 6, which includes Sioux City's Morningside neighborhoods, Sergeant Bluff and some rural areas of Woodbury County. Bossman, a staffer for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, won election to the Republican-leaning district in a special election in January against DeJong, a retired educator.
Bossman's seat was previously held by Republican Jim Carlin of Sioux City, who resigned in December to run for the state Senate, where he won a special election to complete the unexpired term of former Republican Sen. Bill Anderson.
On Tuesday, Carlin, an attorney from Sioux City won his first four-year term, beating Democrat David Dawson of Lawton, 65 percent to 35 percent in Senate District 1. The district includes much of Plymouth, including the county seat of Le Mars, and portions of Woodbury County, including Sioux City's Morningside neighborhoods.
Dawson represented a Sioux City House district for two terms after winning in 2012 and 2014. He decided not to run for re-election in 2016.
In House District 5, which mirrors the Plymouth County part of Carlin's district, Republican Tom Jeneary, of Le Mars, won his first House term, beating Democrat Andrew Emanuel, of Sioux City, 77 percent to 23 percent. The candidates were vying for the seat held by Chuck Holz, R-Le Mars, who decided not to seek re-election in the Republican-leaning district.
Rep. Chris Hall, D-Sioux City, was unopposed Tuesday and won another term in House District 13.
Elsewhere in Northwest Iowa, three other GOP incumbents defeated Democratic challengers for seats in the Legislature, which Republicans continue to control after Tuesday's election.
In House District 1, Republican Rep. John Wills defeated Democrat Karen Larson, 74 percent to 26 candidates. Both candidates are from Spirit Lake.
Rep. Megan Hess Jones, R-Sioux Rapids, won another term in House District 2 with a victory over Democrat Ryan Odor, of Spencer, 66 percent to 34 percent.
In House District 17, Rep. Republican Matt Windchitl, R-Missouri Valley, scored a decisive win over Democrat Jan Creasman, of Woodbine, 71 percent to 29 percent.
In three other House districts in Northwest Iowa, Republican incumbents ran unopposed Tuesday -- Reps. Dan Huseman of Aurelia, Skyler Wheeler of Orange City in District 4 and Gary Worthan, of Storm Lake.
Republican Sen. Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig, and Republican Zach Whiting of Spirit Lake, also ran unopposed.
Whiting, who worked as a staff member for U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, will fill the Senate District 1 seat now held by Sen. David Johnson, the Senate's only independent. Johnson withdrew from the Republican Party in 2016 in protest to the party's nomination of Donald Trump for president. Johnson announced earlier this year he would not run for re-election.
SIOUX CITY -- Tim Gragert won the Nebraska Legislature District 40 seat and will join the chamber in January.
Gragert got more votes than Keith Kube, of Crofton, in getting 51.6 percent of the vote. Voters cast 7,181 ballots for Gragert, while Kube got 6,738 votes on Tuesday.
District 40 covers Dixon, Cedar, Knox, Holt, Boyd and Rock counties.
Kube ran for the position in 2014, but was defeated by Sen. Tyson Larson. Larson, who served for eight years in the Legislature, was prohibited from running for re-election this year due to the state law that limits senators to two consecutive four-year terms.
Gragert, 59, lives in Creighton. He is retired, after a military career of 40 years and with the Natural Resources Conservation Service after 31 years.
Gragert previously won four terms on Creighton School Board.
He campaigned on addressing the funding for K-12 education and take the excessive pressure off property taxes and to get more high speed internet/broadband installed into more rural areas.
The non-partisan state Legislature has 49 senators.
Below are unofficial results Tuesday for contested county races in Siouxland.
BUENA VISTA COUNTY
Supervisor District 2: Kelly Snyder (R), 3,394; Steven J. O'Bannon (D), 2,193; Dale R. Arends (I), 737.
Supervisors (vote for no more than three): Jeri Vogt, (D), 3,098; Eric J. Skoog (R), 2,920; Ty Rosburg (R) 2,829; Kyle R. Schultz (R), 3,330.
Treasurer: Ami Kesterson-Ladwig (D) 2,243; Sheri Neddermeye (R), 3,006.
Recorder: Denise Meeves (D), 2,846; Kristi Kluender (R), 2,439.
Supervisor District 1: Joshua Feucht (R) 639; Ken Kerkvliet (D), 399.
Supervisor District 5: Steve Herman (R) 516; Kirk Peters (I), 479.
Recorder: Kelly K. Seward (D) 1,477; Timothy Trepa (R) 1,061; Kelly K. Parsley (I), 1,213.
Supervisor District 2: Flora Lee (D), 15,424; Jeremy Taylor (R), 19,172.
Supervisor District 4: Carter Smith (D), 15,146; Matthew Ung (R), 18,945.
Treasurer: Bruce Garbe (D), 12,983; Michael Clayton (R), 19,723; Michael Headid (I), 1,415.
Commissioners (vote for no more than two): Janet Gill (R) 2,102; Troy Launsby (R) 1,943; Ron Hartnett (D) 1,414; Larry Albenesius (D), 1,972.
Supervisor District 3: Mark English (R) 127; Richard Valentino (D), 91.
Supervisor District 5: Davin French (R), 129; Greg Jump (D), 78.
Treasurer: Everette Mayberry (R), 524; Robin Christiansen (D), 1,246.
Commissioner District 1: Terry Sievers (R), 874; Louis Benscoter (D), 201.
Commissioner At Large (vote for up to three): Todd Woods (R) 3,710; Dan Klimisch (R) 5,236; Debra Bodenstedt (R) 2,879; Joseph Healy (I), 5,194; Raymon Epp (I), 2,563; Cherl Loest (I), 4,535.
SIOUX CITY -- Fresh off their convincing wins to new four-year terms, Woodbury County Board of Supervisors members Matthew Ung and Jeremy Taylor said they'll continue to advocate for taxpayers and county government accountability in the year ahead.
Both men, who are Republicans from Sioux City, got just above 55 percent of the Tuesday vote to defeat two Democrats, Flora Lee and Carter Smith, also of Sioux City. On Wednesday in mulling through Woodbury County results and their months of campaigning, Taylor and Ung said voters responded to their records of reducing the property tax rates and other moves.
Ung, a 30-year-old office manager at Foot & Ankle Clinic in Sioux City, said he was proud of a second win by a double-digit percentage.
"I presented a holistic picture of promises kept in several areas of county government, proving that a diligent county supervisor is an electable county supervisor. I hoped and trusted my record would speak for itself, and I'm so grateful that the people of Woodbury County were listening," Ung said.
In his summary, Taylor said, "Without straight ticket voting and with an independent-minded electorate, I truly believe voters took the whole of what we have been able to do on taxes, transparency/accessibility, and creative solutions so that it was not a single-issue campaign."
Two other county offices were set Tuesday. Mike Clayton was picked to serve a third term as county treasurer, after defeating Bruce Garbe, and County Attorney P.J. Jennings won re-election in unopposed fashion.
With the wins, there will be some consistency in the people serving as county supervisors. Of the five supervisors who held office prior to the 2014 election, all had retired or been swept out office by the subsequent election, making for county board members who were low on the tenure curve.
But the two years through 2020 will have the same five county supervisors serving, making for four years of stability, with Ung and Taylor, plus Marty Pottebaum, Keith Radig and Rocky De Witt.
Taylor and Ung won on a night when other Republicans didn’t fare as well in Woodbury County. J.D. Scholten, a Democrat, got more county votes than incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve King in the Iowa 4th congressional district race, and Jackie Smith, a former Democratic county supervisor, ousted two-term state Sen. Rick Bertrand in District 7.
While Ung and Taylor pointed to their records, challengers Lee, a former Sioux City School Board member, and first-time candidate Smith at various points of the campaign spoke against the incumbents' support for moving Woodbury County to a new regional group to deliver mental health services to low-income people and others.
At the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year next summer, Woodbury County will exit the Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health and Disability Services and join Rolling Hills Community Services Region, which has seven counties lying more easterly. Taylor and Ung had criticized the working relationship within Sioux Rivers.
On Wednesday, Ung said the Democrats "turned out to be single-issue candidates on the issue of mental health regions rather than on the care itself. Not only that, but it was an issue already decided by the board after long years of legal counsel and open meeting discussions."
On that topic, Taylor said, "voters saw through a lot of misrepresentation by being able to be presented with facts."
Taylor, 40, is an energy and environmental specialist for Sioux City School District and former state legislator. He said his top two goals for 2019 include building infrastructure such as roads in a financially responsible way and to "help lead a smooth transition" into Rolling Hills.
Ung said he aims to "govern with integrity" and "moral consistency" and in the next year to prioritize county projects to pursue through long-term planning.
The positions held by De Witt, Radig and Pottebaum will go before Woodbury County voters during the November 2020 election.
ELK POINT, S.D. -- Seven incumbent state legislators won re-election Tuesday night in southeast South Dakota Tuesday night, with three others appeared on their way to another term.
Sen. Jim Bolin, R-Canton, rolled into another term, with a 69 percent to 32 percent victory over Elizabeth Merrigan, D-Burbank, in District 16. The district includes Union County and southern Lincoln County.
In House District 16, incumbent Reps. Kevin Jensen, R-Canton, and David Anderson, R-Hudson, both won re-election. Jensen had 35 percent and Anderson had 32 percent. Chad Skiles, D-Canton, and Mike Steinbrecher, D-Elk Point, trailed with 17 percent and 16 percent, respectively.
District 17 includes Union County and southern Lincoln County.
In Senate District 17, Sen. Arthur Rusch, R-Vermillion, beat Howard Grinager, D-Parker, 61 percent to 39 percent. District 17 includes Clay County and Turner County.
In the House races in District 17, Rep. Nancy Rasmussen, R-Hurley, and Rep. Ray Ring, D-Vermillion, also won re-election. Rasmussen and Ring both finished with 33 percent with all precincts reporting. John Gors, D-Vermillion, had 27 percent and Gregory Baldwin, a Libertarian from Wakonda, finished with 6 percent.
In Senate District 18, Sen. Craig Kennedy, D-Yankton, won another term, 53 percent to 47 percent over Roger Meyer, R-Yankton, with all eight precincts reporting. District 18 includes Yankton County.
In the House side of District 18, Rep. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton and Ryan Cwach, D-Yankton, captured the two seats. Cwach led with 28 percent, followed by Hunoff with 27 percent, with all precincts reporting. Republican Max Farver, R-Yankton, had 23 percent, and Terry Crandall, D-Yankton, had 22 percent.
In South Dakota, each legislative district is represented by two House members and one senator.