Last night Johnson County Democrats nominated Iowa City resident Royceann Porter for the Dec. 18 special election for county supervisor. I support her candidacy for two reasons. She is a Democrat who won the nomination in an open process, and many people whose judgement I respect support her. Before last night, I wouldn’t have recognized her if I saw her walking on the street. I’m rapidly getting to like Porter and have already reached out to congratulate her and offer help in her campaign.
The other nominee, Pat Harney, had been elected county supervisor four times yet convention delegates rejected him by a vote of 109 to 42. In his three-minute speech Harney focused on the challenges of winning the special election, something of which delegates seemed cognizant. Unspoken at the convention was the challenge a black woman would face among quietly racist voters in the county who would prefer the white male Republicans are expected to nominate. Porter’s campaign is about moving the county forward and that’s another reason I support her.
“I have been a leader in this community for many years,” Porter wrote in a Nov. 19 campaign email. “I will use my commitment and experience to make sure that Johnson County works for all of us. And, I know I can win against the Republican nominee in the December 18 special election.”
In a county where 48,758 people voted for Democrat Fred Hubbell for governor Porter should easily win the election over any nominee Republicans put forward at their upcoming convention. It’s not a given as the 2013 special election that made Republican John Etheredge a supervisor reminds us. It’s up to delegates at last night’s convention to get the word out about Porter’s candidacy and make sure voter turnout is sufficient for her to win.
I plan to do my part to elect Royceann Porter county supervisor and look forward to the campaign.