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2022 Election: Cerro Gordo county goes mostly for GOP as Watts defeats Ragan for supervisor

MASON CITY - Results are in for the 2022 mid-term elections, and Cerro Gordo county is definitely "red" as Republicans took almost all the races.
Chris Watts, currently District 3 Cerro Gordo County Supervisor, ran for re-election to office in the new District 1, and defeated Amanda Ragan.

MASON CITY – Results are in for the 2022 mid-term elections, and Cerro Gordo county is definitely “red” as Republicans took almost all the races.

The big surprise of the night was Republican Chris Watts holding onto a supervisor seat in the courthouse, defeating Democrat Amanda Ragan, by only 11 votes, 2,914 to 2,903.  Watts told NIT it was “like David taking out Goliath.”

The other big race for supervisor was the scandal-ridden contest between Democrat Lori Meacham Ginapp and Republican Don O’Connor.  Ginapp was accused just days before the election by her boss, Auditor Adam Wedmore, in the courthouse of using county resources in her campaign. Ginapp won by 5 votes, 2,280 to 2,275.  Casey Callanan ran unopposed and will retain his seat.  Wedmore’s complaint is still under investigation by state officials.

Nikki Fessler was easily elected as Cerro Gordo county treasurer.

In the state elections and federal elections, Cerro Gordo county went all for Republicans.  Chuck Grassley won an eighth term, defeating Mike Franken for US Senate.

For state senate district 30, Waylon Brown was well-ahead of Whitney Mixdorf.  Sharon Steckman defeated Doug Campbell to retain her district 59 state house seat.

Kim Reynolds easily won re-election to a second term as Governor.

Randy Feenstra easily won a second term in Iowa’s fourth district.  He will likely be joined by three other Republicans in the US House, as Ashley Hinson was well-ahead of Liz Mathes in District 2.  Marianette Miller-Meeks and Zach Nunn were also ahead at the time this story was published and seemed destined to win.

GOP candidates were winning for auditor, treasurer and attorney general at the time this story was published, and all seemed likely to win.

An amendement to the state constitution giving Iowans more access to gun passed, giving citizens the right “to keep and bear arms”.

The “red wave” forecast by polls and pundits was possibly not materializing nationwide as results continued to flow in Tuesday night.  Democrats seemed likely to hold onto the US Senate.  Republicans seemed likely to take back the US House but not by a substantial margin, possibly by less than 10 seats.

Some of the close races listed above could be subject to a re-count.

Todd Blodgett of Clear Lake Iowa is an accomplished writer and political strategist. He has been the most-popular writer in the history of the Globe Gazette, been published in numerous news publications, and has written a book, “Republican Crackhead.”

NorthIowaToday.com reached out to longtime GOP strategist Todd Blodgett, who has worked in hundreds of campaigns during his career in politics.  Blodgett provided an interesting ‘take’ on the Cerro Gordo county election results.  “I don’t often call a race wrong, but I was astonished to see Chris Watts defeat Senator Ragan, especially after reading the campaign finance reports filed by these two candidates.”  Blodgett explained that “Mrs. Ragan spent $24,000-PLUS.  Watts spent just over $2,200.  So, based on their vote totals, Ragan spent eight-plus dollars per vote, whereas Watts spent less than a buck per vote.”

In Mr. Blodgett’s assessment, another factor in Ragan’s defeat was that “many voters saw her candidacy as overtly opportunistic.  She’d already announced her retirement from politics.  But after Watts beat Tim Latham in the GOP primary, and Tim then learned that the Democrats also wouldn’t nominate him, Amanda sort of slipped in, as the Democratic nominee.  I’m sure that Tim [Latham] and Joann Hardy are about as happy [with Ragan’s loss to Watts] as Hillary Clinton is with James Comey, or Bill Clinton was, with Monica Lewinsky.”

Regarding the other Supervisor district, Blodgett told NIT that “Don O’Connor lost because he didn’t knock nearly as many doors as ‘Landslide Lori’ did, – and in a race this close, that made the difference.”  Blodgett added that, “Casey Callanan garnered 98 percent of the vote in his race, while Watts and ‘Landslide Lori’ each got fifty percent.  Averaged out, the two Republican Supervisors received just under 74 percent of the vote, but the Board’s one Democrat barely got 50 percent.  So, ‘Landslide Lori’ should keep that in mind, when she votes on county issues.  But even if she doesn’t, it won’t matter!”

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