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Democrats in southwest Iowa nominate Republican for district office
Democrats in southwest Iowa nominate Republican for district office

The Democratic Party in a southwest Iowa county is in the process of nominating a Republican for one of the party’s seats in the November election.

Republican Chris Clark of Sidney is chairman of the Fremont County Board of Supervisors, but he lost the Republican primary this month by seven votes. John Powers, chairman of the Fremont County Democratic Party, says that was “an unexpected result” — and a recent change in Iowa law prohibits Clark and any other primary losers from running as independents in the general election.

“The Democratic Party felt it was important that we give Chris Clark another chance,” he says.

According to a press release from Fremont County Democrats, Clark is expected to accept the Democratic Party nomination but remain a Republican. Fremont County Democrats praise Clark, who is seeking a second term as county executive, for “putting the needs of the county ahead of partisan politics and personal grievances.”

“Some of the members had worked with Chris on various projects and they said this kid was really good at what he did. He reached out across party lines,” Powers says, “and he was doing the right thing for the people of Fremont County.”

In January of last year, a group of Fremont County residents sued Clark and other county supervisors and a wind energy developer over plans for a wind farm in Fremont County. A judge dismissed the suit last June. In the primary election this June, Jeff Shearer of Hamburg won 311 votes and is the Republican Party’s nominee for Fremont County supervisor.

(Reporting by Ethan Hewett, KMA, Shenandoah; additional reporting by O. Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa)

By Liam