Incumbents re-elected across northern Tama County

Some seats remain vacant, await write-in tally

Voting in the 2021 combined city/school election took place across Iowa on Tuesday, November 2. Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Photo by Ruby F. Bodeker

Several new candidates alongside mostly incumbents will be sworn in this coming January across the northern Tama County landscape following the combined city/school election that took place on Tuesday, November 2, 2021. The following results are final unofficial results from the Tama County Auditor’s Office. The election canvass will take place Monday, November 8 at 10 a.m. at the Tama County Administration Building in Toledo.

North Tama School Board

Four of the seven North Tama School Board seats were up for re-election this year. In District 3, incumbent Haley Blaine faced a two-way challenge from candidates LeRoy Staker and Katy Wilson. Blaine was the winner Tuesday night with 208 votes to Staker’s 117 and Wilson’s 99.

Following news of her re-election, Blaine — who was on her way back from North Tama’s win in the Class 1A State Volleyball quarterfinal in Cedar Rapids — told the North Tama Telegraph she felt amazing.

“I’m so happy to have had the support I had, and am very excited to continue being a voice on the North Tama School Board!”


North Tama School Board Election Results

District 1 (vote for one)

Rod Zobel 388

Write-in 7

District 2 (vote for one)


David Calderwood 381

Write-in 14

District 3 (vote for one)

Haley Blaine 208

LeRoy Staker 117


Katy Wilson 99

Write-in 1

District 4 (vote for one)

Cheryl Popelka 396

Write-in 3

Traer Mayor

In the Traer mayor’s race, incumbent Mayor Peter Holden also faced a two-way challenge from candidates Nicholas Ferguson and Jay Wolfe. Holden was re-elected with 171 of the votes to Ferguson’s 70 and Wolfe’s 61.

Traer Mayor Results (vote for one)

Jay Wolfe 61

Peter Armstrong Holden 171

Nicholas Ferguson 70

Write-in 2

Traer City Council

The Traer City Council had two open seats this election cycle. Incumbent James Erhardt was up for re-election, while the seat left vacant following Laurie Schafer’s resignation earlier this fall was also on the ballot.

Three candidates were running for the two seats including Erhardt, retired city clerk Jon Panfil, and Kennan E. Seda. Erhardt was re-elected with 203 votes and Panfil won the other seat with 177 votes. Panfil will be sworn in at next month’s city council meeting in order to fill the vacancy left by Schafer.

Following news of his re-election, Erhardt told the North Tama Telegraph he was “excited to serve the citizens of Traer!!!”

Panfil told the North Tama Telegraph following news of his win he was “glad the people of Traer elected me and I look forward to going back to work on the council.”

Traer City Council Results

James Erhart 203

Kennan E. Seda 97

Jon Panfil 177

Write-in 11

Union Community School Board

The Union School Board had three seats on the ballot this election. None of the three incumbents for the seats chose to run again. Lindsay Pipho of Dysart was the only candidate who filed for the At-Large Director seat. Pipho received 477 votes.

Maureen Hanson of La Porte City was the only candidate who filed for the District 2 seat. Hanson received 448 votes.

The District 1 seat formerly held by Darrell DeWinter received 113 write-in votes according to the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Union School Board Results

At Large Director (vote for one)

Lindsay Pipho 477

District 2 Director (vote for one)

Maureen Hanson 448

Dysart City Council

The Dysart City Council had three open seats to fill this election cycle. All three of the incumbents chose not to run. Only two candidates filed for the three open seats including Derek Neegard who received 115 votes and Jenn Alpers who received 109 votes.

In the coming days, the 71 write-in votes for the third open seat will be tallied by the Tama County Auditor’s Office. The seat will then be offered to the winner of the write-in votes. The write-in vote winner has 10 days following the official canvass to decline or accept the position. If they choose to decline they must submit a resignation letter. The next highest write-in vote winner will then be offered the position. If there’s an unlikely tie, the Tama County Supervisors would draw from a hat for the seat.

Dysart City Council Results (vote for three)

Derek Neegard 115

Jenn Alpers 109

Write-in 71

Clutier Mayor and City Council

In the Clutier Mayor’s race, incumbent Gordon Fassett was the only candidate who filed. Mayor Fassett won re-election with 34 votes. All five seats on the Clutier City Council were up for re-election. All five incumbent council members ran unopposed including Phillip C. Breja (35 votes), Keith Erickson (35 votes), Sue Kupka (32 votes), Gary Pearson (34 votes), and DeAnn Weber (31 votes).

Clutier Mayor Results

Gordon Fassett 34

Write-in 2

Clutier City Council

Phillip C. Breja 35

Sue Kupka 32

Gary Pearson 34

Keith Erickson 35

DeAnn Weber 31

Write-in 8

Tama County voter turnout for the 2021 combined city/school election was up slightly from the 2019 city/school election but voter registration overall was down this election by roughly 1,000 voters.

There are 9,829 registered voters in Tama County. According to the Tama County Auditor’s Office, 2,185 votes were cast this election — a roughly 22 percent turnout.