Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson announced on Monday that he will finish out his current term but is no longer seeking reelection in November.
“Given all the life-changing events that are upon us, this year of 2020 in particular has provided me a chance to thoroughly examine and reflect on what is most important to me and my family as I come closer to the end of raising my two high-school aged children,” Oleson said in his retirement announcement. “This self-evaluation process has also allowed me to contemplate other meaningful opportunities in my career of public service and law.”
Oleson has served on the Board of Supervisors for nearly 12 years. He was first elected in November 2008 and was reelected in 2012 and again in 2016. Oleson was the only one of the three supervisors on the ballot in the November general election. He was unopposed in the June Democratic primary.
Oleson represents District 3, which includes Marion, Ely, Lisbon, Mount Vernon, Springville, Betram, Waubeek, Whittier, Prairieburg, Coggon, Central City, Alburnett, Center Point, Walker, Troy Mills, Palo, Fairfax, Walford and most of the unincorporated rural area of Linn County.
His current term ends on Dec. 31.
“While I have five months left remaining in my term, I must say that I am very proud of the previous 139 months of work that was accomplished in aggressively and effectively pursuing issues of importance and significance to the citizens of Linn County,” Oleson said.
During his time on the board, Oleson has focused on issues relating to conservation, recreation, trails, parks, water quality and other infrastructure needs.
“I have a deep passion for the outdoors and our natural areas and have worked tirelessly to promote and complete hundreds of projects affecting areas where we gather to recreate and come together as a community.”
In his statement on Monday, Oleson thanked the late Iowa Sen. Mary Lundby for mentoring him and being the “single most influential person in my adult life.”
“I have tried my best to live up to her expectations that public servants always be straight-forward and honest in their dealings, stay true to themselves and their core beliefs, never be afraid to question the status-quo and work hard for all of their constituents no matter their political party to find solutions and compromises to advance the people’s business,” Oleson said.
“After being sworn into office in her hospice room shortly before her death, I am very proud that I followed her advice to the letter.”
A Democratic Convention of Linn County Supervisor District 3 will be called this month to choose a candidate for the Nov. 3 ballot. Oleson said John Stuelke will seek the nomination.
Stuelke is currently a member of the Center Point City Council and has also served as the city’s mayor. He recently retired after 37 years with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office with the rank of colonel and chief deputy.
If selected, Stuelke will face Republican state Rep. Louis Zumbach on the November ballot.