The June 7 Primary Election is an important time in the political process at the federal, state and county level. On that day, registered voters all over the state of Iowa will head for the polls to choose the nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties for the U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress, the Iowa House of Representatives, half of the Iowa State Senate, and even County Sheriffs, some County Supervisors and County Auditors.
This primary election in Dallas County has two candidates vying for the Republican nomination to replace Gene Krumm as Dallas County Auditor after his retirement at the end of this term. Those candidates are Julia Helm and Cate Bryan.
Helm has already worked with Krumm for the last seven years in the Auditor’s office, working in every function from accounting to drainage districts and with Precinct Election Officials, which she is doing now.
Helm says that she feels she has the experience not only in the Auditor’s office, but also in other work, such as being a department head at Drake University in Des Moines.
"When people see the breadth and the depth of my experience prior to even working in government, (including) public relations person, handling budgets at Drake and major events, I think that helps," said Helm.
If Helm were elected Auditor, she says that could "start on day one" and she would not have to go through the same learning curve as her opponent.
"My experience in the office (of auditor) and my relationships with the different departments in the County gets me started day one," said Helm.
Helm said that the auditor would have to be able to get along with the other departments and that she already has good relationships with them.
In a stance that is similar to that of her opponent, Helm’s website says that she wants to incorporate "world-class technologies" into the elections process to make it more efficient and more secure.
Bryan, Helm’s opponent in the Primary, has received several high-profile endorsements including city councilmen, a former state representative and most notably, Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. Helm, however, has the endorsement of Krumm, the current auditor, and she is not intimidated by the endorsements that Bryan has received.
"Wouldn’t he (Krumm) know what the job is?" said Helm. "So I’m not intimidated by that."
Helm also said that she is gaining support by taking part in community activities such as 4-H shooting club and her daughter’s Girl Scout activities in addition to setting up yard signs, talking to people and door knocking.
"It’s tough with a low-turnout election as the primaries usually are," said Helm.
She said that the interactions she’s had with people through the campaign have been positive so far.
"People are interested that you’re running and that there’s more than one person running," said Helm. "I think that gives people choice and they can look at the experience and they can look at what your thoughts are on different topics to help make their decision."
She said that while campaigning will increase the turnout for her personally, it may not have an effect on the overall turnout for the primaries.
To vote in the primaries on June 7 you must be registered as either a Democrat or a Republican, since Iowa holds "closed primaries." To cast your vote for either Helm or for Bryan, you must be registered as a Republican.