Central committee reconvenes county convention

Shenandoah poll workers pose for a picture during the June 2 primary. The republican winner of the Page County District 1 Supervisor race still hasn't been decided.

Delegates for the Page County Republican Convention will reconvene July 11, in Shenandoah to determine which party candidate in the Page County Supervisor race for District 1 will be placed on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

The Republican Party had five candidates vying for the seat during the June 2 primary. Based on the election canvas held June 9 at the Page County Courthouse in Clarinda, Darin Sunderman led the balloting with 731 votes. Jacob Holmes followed with 618 votes; Beth Steeve, 444; Mark Marriott, 263; and Jeff Brownfield, 206.

Although Sunderman finished with the highest vote total, he only received 32 percent of the 3,070 total votes cast in the primary. A candidate must receive 35 percent of the votes to be named on the ballot.

As a result, Page County Auditor Melissa Wellhausen notified Page County Central Committee officials the election results were inconclusive and returned control to determining which candidate to place on the general election ballot to the party. Only the Page County Republican Central Committee has the authority to reconvene a county convention to determine a winner in cases like this.

“It’s been a number of years since something like this has happened, but I was not super surprised,” Central Committee Co-Chairperson Erwin Aust said. “Knowing we had five people running for that Supervisor position, we suspected this could happen and then, in fact, it did.”

The Page County Republican Central Committee met June 12 at St. Paul Lutheran Church, located just west of Clarinda on Highway 2, to set the new county convention date and location. Aust said the meeting, which lasted slightly over an hour, went smoothly and all eight of the precincts in the county were represented.

The committee elected to hold the Page County Republican Convention at 9 a.m. July 11, at the National Guard Armory in Shenandoah. A total of 76 delegates from the eight precincts will vote at that time to determine which of the five candidates will be placed on the general election ballot to represent the Republican Party. The delegates were originally elected to the county convention during the 2020 Caucus held in February.

“We decided to use the National Guard Armory in Shenandoah because it has a large meeting room,” Aust said. “So there is plenty of room if we have to do any social distancing or anything of that nature.”

The chosen candidate will then face off against Tim Johnson in the general election. Johnson is running as an unaffiliated candidate for the District 1 seat on the Page County Board of Supervisors.

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