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Election Day is here

BY KRISTEN EAST AND JORDYN REILAND | NOVEMBER 04, 2014 5:00 AM

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Today’s the day. For some, nearly two years of campaigning will come to an end when the polls in Iowa close at 9 p.m. At the end of the day, Iowans will have a new senator and at least two new representatives in Congress. In Johnson County, residents have the option of voting in support of a local-option sales tax and a courthouse annex in addition to deciding on the next slate of county supervisors.

Here’s a breakdown of it all:

Johnson County Supervisor
Two incumbents and one new candidate are battling for two seats in this year’s Johnson County Board of Supervisors election. Democrat Janelle Rettig and Republican John Etheredge have both served on the board. Mike Carberry, a graduate of the University of Iowa, is a longtime member of the Iowa Farm Bureau and Iowa Farmers Union and has never served on the board.

County Courthouse Annex

After two failures, a referendum to expand the existing courthouse is back on the ballot. The three-floor, 69,167-square-foot facility with a $33.4 million price tag would be dug into the hill that the current Johnson County Courthouse sits on and would include six new courtrooms, increased security, and additional meeting space for officials, lawyers, and clients. The last two times the referenda to fund a joint annex and county jail expansion failed to gain the necessary 60 percent supermajorities.

Local Sales and Service Tax

Iowa City residents have the option to vote for a 1-cent sales tax increase this election. The local-option tax in Iowa City would be split among street improvements and roadway maintenance, property-tax relief, and affordable housing. If the sales tax passes, Iowa City could earn around $9 million to $9.5 million a year, as previously reported in The Daily Iowan.

Senate District 39

Farmer and veteran Johnson County sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Kinney and Republican Mike Moore are fighting for a seat left vacant by retiring Republican Sen. Sandra Greiner. This district covers Keokuk County, most of Washington County, and parts of Johnson County. This race will play a significant role in if Democrats will maintain control of the Senate.

House District 73

The race between Democrat David Johnson of West Branch and Republican incumbent Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, could play a role in whether Democrats have a chance to take back the House. The Republican Party holds the majority by six seats, as previously reported by the DI. The district encompasses Cedar County, small portions of Johnson County, and the town of Wilton in Muscatine County.

Gubernatorial race

Iowa’s longest-serving governor is expected to seal the deal on a historic sixth term.

Polls have consistently shown Gov. Terry Branstad with a double-digit lead over Democratic opponent state Sen. Jack Hatch. The pair participated in three debates, each of which was televised in front of a live audience.

U.S. Senate race

The race to replace Sen. Tom Harkin in the U.S. Senate started nearly two years ago, and it’s been up and down and deadlocked for much of the election cycle.

Republican Joni Ernst and Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley have been tied throughout much of the race, only inching a small margin of a few percentage points over one another at times. This one won’t be decided until very late in the evening.

1st Congressional District

Democratic Rep. Pat Murphy and Republican businessman Rod Blum found themselves in a surprisingly competitive and close contest to be Rep. Bruce Braley’s successor in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

The northeastern region that the 1st District covers includes Dubuque and Cedar Rapids.

2nd Congressional District

Rep. Dave Loebsack and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks are in a battle for the 2nd Congressional District for the third non-consecutive time.

Loebsack is serving his fourth term in office. Miller-Meeks, a former director of the Iowa Public Health Department, is opposing Loebsack for the third time.

3rd Congressional District

Former state Sen. Staci Appel and Republican David Young are vying to replace retiring Rep. Tom Latham, who had served western Iowa in various districts for the past 20 years. Young currently has a slight advantage over Appel.

4th Congressional District

Democrat and Iraq War veteran Jim Mowrer is hoping to unseat Republican Rep. Steve King in Iowa’s conservative 4th Congressional District. King, who has served in Congress since 2003, is seeking his seventh term in the U.S. House.


What to Know

Polling hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
Polling locations: A full list of polling locations in Iowa City is available on the Johnson County auditor’s website, as well as the secretary of State’s website.
Turnout updates: County precincts will report turnout statistics at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m.
For local election returns: Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert (@jcauditor)

How to Follow Along

Daily Iowan politics team: In addition to @TheDailyIowan and @dipolitics, the following staffers will provide updates throughout the day: Kristen East (@kristenicoleast), Jordyn Reiland (@littlejoe16), Quentin Misiag (@quentin_misiag), Lauren Coffey (@lauren__coffey), and Cassidy Riley (@Cassidy_A_Riley).
Instagram: @daily_iowan
YouTube: youtube.com/thedailyiowan
Web: dailyiowanepi.com


In today's issue:





 
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