No Story County races contested this primary, but some races of interest on the ballot

Danielle Gehr
Ames Tribune

Story County races are not being contested this primary season, but that doesn't mean there is no reason to head to the polls Tuesday. 

With statewide and national seats up for reelection, Democrats and Republicans will  decide who will represent their parties in the midterm election in November. A state representative seat and the Story County Board of Supervisors will have some competition In the fall general election. 

Where and how to vote: Primary early voting looks like usual, but don't forget polling place changes: Story County auditor

Statewide coverage: Who's running in Iowa's June 7 primary election? Here's what voters need to know

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is up for an eighth term and faces one challenger in his own party: Iowa Sen. Jim Carlin of Sioux City.

On the other side of the aisle, three Democrats are vying for the seat: former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer, retired Navy Adm. Mike Franken and physician Glenn Hurst.

Statewide, former state Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa and former Alcoholic Beverage Division comptroller Todd Halbur are competing for the Republican state auditor nomination. Auditor Rob Sand, a Democrat, is seeking reelection. Two Democrats — county auditors Joel Miller and Eric Van Lancker — are vying for the nomination for Secretary of State. Republican Paul Pate is running for reelection. 

More: Iowa election results from Tuesday primaries

Several statewide races remain uncontested this primary season. Gov. Kim Reynolds seeks another term in the fall, challenged by one Democrat Deidre DeJear. Also in November, Republican Brenna Bird will challenge Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller, and state Sen. Roby Smith, R-Davenport, is running against Democratic State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald. 

Though there will be no Story County challenges on Tuesday, but here are the candidates in the contested Story County Board of Supervisors and the Iowa House District 48 races.

More local candidates: Here's who is running for Board of Supervisors, Statehouse in Story County this year

Story County Board of Supervisors

James Wright Jr., a Republican, is running for the Story County Board of Supervisors.

James Wright Jr. (R) 

Wright, a Story County farmer near Collins, is making his first run for the Board of Supervisors. He has spent 40 years farming and raising cattle at his family operation and also worked in real estate. 

Wright told the Tribune he has spent a large portion of his adult life in public service. He spent the last 12 years on the Story County Medical Board of Trustees. He was also a board member of the Story County Cattlemen and the Story County Pork Producers, previously a president of both. 

He also served as a member of the Lions Club, Story County 4-H Fair Board and a number of other boards. Wright has been married to his wife, Sarah, for 29 years and is a father of two. 

Story County Supervisor Linda Murken is running for reelection.

Linda Murken (D) - incumbent

Serving her first term, Murken, of Gilbert, is seeking reelection to the Story County Board of Supervisors. She is a lifelong resident of Story County and worked nearly four decades in Iowa’s Department of Correctional Services before moving to the Story County Planning and Zoning Commission. 

Murken previously served as the Board of Supervisors chair. She is chair of the Emergency Management Commission. 

She also represents Story County on the Watershed Management Authorities for Ioway Creek and the Headwaters of the Skunk Creek River. She also uses her experience in corrections serving on the county's public safety communication system (StoryComm) board.

As supervisor, she has worked to expand rural broadband and develop a workforce retraining program. If reelected, Murken said she would continue to focus on broadband and water quality as well as implementing a climate action plan and increasing affordable housing. 

Former state representative and Ames resident Lisa Heddens is running to be Story County supervisor. She has filled the role since her predecessor Rick Sanders stepped down in 2019.

Lisa Heddens (D) - incumbent

Supervisor Heddens, of Ames, is running for another term on the board with plans to continue her work on expanding mental health and disability services in the county. 

Heddens previously served eight terms as a state representative before being appointed to the Board of Supervisors in 2019 after Rick Sanders stepped down to become president of the Iowa State University Research Park. 

She was officially elected to the vacancy in 2020.

Heddens said she is proud of the work she and fellow board members have done to expand broadband, promote economic development and keep communities safe. She hopes to continue this work if elected to another term. 

District 48 State Representative 

Boone County Democrats Chair Penny Vossler is running for Iowa's District 48 House of Representatives seat.

Penny Vossler (D) 

Vossler, the Boone County Democrats chair, is making her first run for the Statehouse as she runs unopposed for the Democratic nomination for the District 48 seat. 

Vossler, of Boone, is running with an emphasis on affordable healthcare, fair wages for workers and fully supporting Iowa public schools.

Vossler has four college degrees in math, computer science, space studies and geographic information system. She's worked as a math teacher, volunteer emergency medical technician, an associate scientist on a NASA satellite project, a software engineer and a cartographer. 

Rep. Phil Thompson is running for reelection to the Iowa House of Representatives.

Phil Thompson (R) - incumbent

Thompson, of Boone, is running unopposed for the Republican nomination for the District 48 state representative seat.

First elected in 2018, Thompson serves on the Education, Economic Growth, Appropriations and Veterans Affairs committees, among others. He is also chair of the Economic Growth Appropriations Subcommittee and serves on the Economic Development Authority Board. 

Though Thompson already serves as a state representative, he was moved from District 47 to the 48th district after redistricting. 

Danielle Gehr is a politics and government reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at dgehr@gannett.com, phone at (515) 663-6925 or on Twitter at @Dani_Gehr.