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Prairie City News

'The Beard' wins big

Talsma secures majority supervisors votes, Carpenter closely follows

Republican Brandon Talsma will serve alongside Doug Cupples and Denny Carpenter as the newest Jasper County Supervisor.

Unofficial results from the Jasper County Auditor's office in Tuesday night election show Talsma, R-Newton, received 8,241 votes (or 30 percent) and incumbent Carpenter, R-Reasnor, received 6,718 votes (or 25 percent). While the remaining candidates, Mike Hansen, D-Newton; Pamela Olson, D-Newton; and Jerry Chandler Jr., I-Newton; received 5,533 and 5,213 and 1,080 votes, respectively.

With Tuesday's results, Jasper County Republicans not contorl all three board of supervisors seats. Currently serving on the board are Carpenter, Cupples and Joe Brock — the lone Democrat who decided not to run for reelection this year. Supervisors serve four-year terms on the board.

During the race, candidates found common ground advocating for increasing economic developments throughout Jasper County and wanting more proactive leadership. Where they differed was through their individual approaches to county government and what they believed should be top priorities — roads, planning, smart spending, acknowledgment of rural communities.

Talsma, in his first election, received the highest amount of votes.

"I'm not going to lie: I'm shocked!" Talsma said Tuesday night during a phone interview. "I wasn't expecting numbers like that."

Urging residents to “vote for the beard,” Talsma certainly had the catchiest campaign slogan in the race; yet he had not held elected office prior to his supervisors win. As a fourth generation farmer in Jasper County, Talsma carried himself as a voice for both rural and agricultural residents throughout his campaign.

Talsma also voiced his concerns, rallying for better road conditions and countywide development. Upon his election, Talsma said he would bring “new ideas and energy” to the board of supervisors and would work to get citizens’ concerns heard at meetings," especially those living in rural communities.

"I want to make sure their voices are heard," Talsma said. "I know from several people I've talked to said that several communities feel like they're not being equally represented."

Also representing rural Jasper County is Carpenter. Running as the sole incumbent in the Jasper County Board of Supervisors race, Carpenter maintains he is anything but a politician. He worked for the county engineer’s office for 36-and-a-half years before deciding to serve county government.

Bringing with him almost 12 years of experience on the board of supervisors, Carpenter maintains his dedication to the job by going to the office each day he can. To him, being on the board of supervisors is about “helping people and not politics.” His win continues Carpenter’s commitment to public service.

Prior to the election, Carpenter confided to the Newton Daily News about the results.

"Win or lose, God's in control," Carpenter said. "There is no such thing as luck. It's God's grace. Everything that happens to you is God's will. If it's not God's will that I get re-elected, then another door is going to open."

Upon his win, Carpenter said he was pleasantly surprised and humbly considered himself a servant to the people.

"What is my duty? To have a government that is effective and efficient and operates at the lowest possible cost and is always looking for ways to improve our services and cut the cost of county government," Carpenter said.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or

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