Nederhoff, Sweeney win big in local primaries

Republican Grundy County Supervisor candidate Heidi Nederhoff (left) and District 25 State Senator Annette Sweeney (right), both of whom walked in Tuesday night's Wellsburg Daze parade, won big victories in their primaries last week. Sweeney will face Tracy Freese in the general election, and no Democrats have filed to challenge Nederhoff. (Robert Maharry/The Grundy Register photos) 

Incumbent State Senator Annette Sweeney and Republican district two supervisor candidate Heidi Nederhoff cruised to victory in the only contested local primaries last Tuesday amidst low turnout and several intriguing races at the state and federal level.


Nederhoff, the first GOP candidate to file for the race after incumbent Harlyn Riekena announced his impending retirement, essentially won the general election upon defeating competitors Dick Steppe and Jason Merfeld. Of the 260 votes cast in that race, she received over 63 percent of them (161), and Steppe (26 percent) and Merfeld (11 percent) finished a distant second and third, respectively. The Democrats are not expected to run a candidate for the seat in a large district that stretches from Holland and Wellsburg to the western and northern edges of Grundy County. Nederhoff could not be immediately reached for comment.


Just a few months after defeating Democrat Tracy Freese in a special election to replace Bill Dix, Sweeney, a former state representative and USDA rural development director from Buckeye, captured a landslide primary win over upstart challenger Chad Buss, a chiropractor from Parkersburg, as she received just under 83 percent of the votes cast in the four-county district (and 86 percent in Grundy County) that sprawls from the small towns surrounding Ames to the southern half of Butler County—including all of Grundy and Hardin Counties.


The Senator will now turn her attention toward Freese once again: the businesswoman from Dike won an uncontested primary, and she’ll seek to avenge a 12-percentage point loss in April, when Sweeney won heavily in Grundy and Hardin Counties and narrowly in Butler County. Freese carried Story County.


“We’re working hard. We’re reaching out to communities and making sure we have those lines of communication open,” Sweeney said. “When you work hard, get out there, talk to voters and you take the job seriously, that always results in a good ending for your campaign.”


Read the full story in this week's Grundy Register. Subscribe by calling (319) 824-6958 or clicking here.