Supervisor Election

Challenge Filed to Recent County Supervisor Appointment

Decorah (IA) – The Winneshiek County Democrats have filed a petition to call for a special election to challenge recently appointed Winneshiek County Supervisor Gary Rustad on the County Board of Supervisors. Melissa O’Rourke has expressed interest in running for the office when the special election is held.

Rustad was appointed on July 1st to fill the seat of District 2 Supervisor after the recent resignation of Floyd Ashbacher. O’ Rourke ran for the District 2 seat in 2018, losing to Ashbacher by 68 votes out of nearly 2300 votes cast.

Under county election laws, the appointee, Rustad, can fill the remainder of Ashbacher’s term through the 2022 election cycle, unless a petition is filed by July 15th to seek the seat. Such a petition requires a minimum of 242 signatures of District 2 voters calling for a special election which can override the appointment by the remaining supervisors.

As of Wednesday, Decorah residents had gathered more than 300 signatures from Supervisor District 2.

“Winneshiek County Democrats believe that the voters should get to decide who their next supervisor will be,” said Carl Haakenstad, Chair of the Winneshiek County Democrats. “Seeing so many people willing to sign on behalf of a special election simply gives us assurance that our democracy can work successfully if we allow it to do so.”

O’Rourke expressed her excitement in the opportunity. “This was something I put out there for friends and colleagues to help me decide, and the response was overwhelmingly positive. I look forward to this challenge,” stated Melissa..