Five candidates — Latifah Faisal, Lisa Heddens, Lyn Lathrop, Josh Opperman and Patrick Sheets — were selected as finalists for the vacant Board of Supervisors seat by the Vacancy Committee on Monday evening.


The committee, comprised of Story County Auditor Lucy Martin, Story County Treasurer Ted Rasmusson and Recorder Stacie Herridge, commented that there was “great overlap” on all their respective finalist selections.


“Choosing finalists is going to be a difficult task, I think we have a great slate of applicants and all of them have done great variety of public service,” Rasmusson said before the selection of finalists.


Rasmusson and Herridge each nominated Faisal, Heddens, Lathrop, but differed on Opperman and Sheets, respectively. Martin did not publicly list a slate of finalists.


On Thursday, the five candidates will be given an allotment of seven minutes each to present their case for the vacant seat, followed by a question-and-answer follow-up from the committee. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the second-floor public meeting room in the Story County Administration Building.


The committee will make a final decision on Thursday, and swear-in the new supervisor on June 18 to join Board Chair Linda Murken and Lauris Olson.


While the committee unanimously voted on May 20 to fill the vacant seat via appointment, if voters want to force a special election they would need to submit 4,283 signatures by June 27, 14 days from the board’s appointment of a candidate.


A current Story County employee, Faisal, is the coordinator for the county’s fines recovery and license reinstatement program.


Heddens, is an eight-term Iowa state representative from the 46th District and currently is the executive director of National Alliance on Mental Illness Central Iowa.


A Marine, Lathrop served as mayor of Nevada from 2013-17.


Opperman, who made an unsuccessful bid for a supervisors seat in 2018, is an Ames-area attorney and policy and procedure consultant at Iowa State University.


And finally, Sheets served as president of the The Nevada Economic Development Council, and sat on the board of directors of Story County Medical Center.


The candidates are vying to fill the seat left open by the resignation of Rick Sanders, who stepped down May 31 to become the new president of the Iowa State University Research Park.