U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst visited Spencer on Tuesday, making stops at Grand Avenue Community Outreach and The Iowa Project Brewing Company. During her visit, Ernst praised the outreach (GACO) for its approach to helping people in the community. “You do want to make sure you are finding solutions and an avenue for someone if they can’t find what they need here, finding it somewhere else or giving them advice on where they can go to get assistance,” Ernst said. “That’s exactly what you have developed here in your own community. It’s basically a one-stop shop for the folks that need it the most.”
Voters in Iowa head to the polls today to vote in city, school and other local elections today. Here is what voters need to know about elections in Spencer and other city and school elections November 5 in Clay County. Find your polling place
The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office provides voters with a simple tool for finding where to vote. You can also find this information on the Clay County website. Election results
The Clay County Auditor’s Office will post election results.
Duane Bates wants to bring an approach of common sense decisions and fiscal responsibility to the Spencer City Council. Bates is on the ballot seeking the Ward 4 city council position. He was born in Spencer and has lived here for almost 50 years. He’s currently the safety director at The Arnold Group of Companies. “I’ll do the best I possibly can,” Bates promised if elected.
Donavon Wunschel knows how hard it is to find people to fill jobs in Spencer. That’s one of the reasons why Wunschel is running for the Ward 4 position on the Spencer City Council. “I know Spencer has jobs available, but we need people to fill them,” Wunschel said. “Right now, all we’re filling them with is people that are already working at jobs in Spencer, so it just keeps taking them from other companies. It’s better to try and bring in some new youth into the Spencer area.
Former Spencer Mayor Reynold Peterson is vying to get back into city government, this time as a city council member. Peterson is running for the Ward 3 city council seat that was left vacant earlier this year when Steve Bomgaars resigned due to a move out of the ward. Peterson, who has lived in Spencer for 36 years and served as the city’s mayor for 14 years until 2017, said he has a couple of reasons for seeking the seat. “I just had that desire because there were a lot of good things that were started during my tenure as mayor,” he said. “I want to see them completed.
Loren Reit believes that the skills he’s gained from years of working in manufacturing and industry would carry over well to a Spencer City Council position. Reit is challenging incumbent Rich Prentice for the at-large city council member position. “I’ve always had an interest in city and county government,” said Reit, who has lived in Spencer for 41 years and currently is retired. “I was approached by people I’ve got a high level of respect for that asked me if I would consider it.”
He added that his career experience in manufacturing has included several disciplines, including finance, engineering, purchasing and logistics. Reit was director of marketing for Tecton Industries in Spencer for 26 years before he retired 2.5 years ago.
Tracey Larsen would like to keep Spencer moving forward if he is elected to the city council. Larsen is running for the Ward 3 seat on the council. The opening was created earlier this year when Steve Bomgaars resigned due to a move out of the ward. “I feel like I want to make a difference and try to keep the town progressive and just a nice place to live,” Larsen said. “There’s some things we’d like to address and update,” Larsen said.
Rich Prentice has served 24 years on the Spencer City Council – and he’s hopeful voters will grant him four more tomorrow. Prentice is vying for another term as an at-large councilman. He is the longest-serving member of the current council. “There’s things that the city’s doing and I’d like to see them completed,” said Prentice, who has lived in Spencer for 51 years and worked in town for 44 of those years. Prentice pointed to a city program that helps homeowners who cannot afford needed repairs to their homes as one program he’d like to promote moving forward.
Before Bernie Sanders spoke Sunday at the Clay County Fair and Events Center in Spencer, the Signal asked some crowd members about why they were attending the event and their general thoughts on Sanders. Here are their answers. Harrison Gabe, Milford
“Mostly wanting to hear his perspective on a lot of things. I haven’t made up my mind yet on who I would like to caucus for and I really liked Bernie’s platform in 2016. So I’m looking forward to see what he has to say now, if his positions have changed on anything.”
Jerry Stege, Primghar
“I listen to all the candidates when they come through, so that’s kind of how I decide.”
On where Sanders sits on his list of choices:
“He’s down on the list.
Bernie Sanders is consistent. The independent senator from Vermont proved that when he visited Spencer on Sunday. He ran through a greatest hits list of his policy ideas and then took questions at a town meeting at the Clay County Fair and Events Center. Sanders, one of more than 20 people vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, stopped in Spencer as part of a four-day swing through Iowa. Spencer was the senator’s second-to-last stop of the trip, which wrapped up in Sioux City later that night.