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The second-day story, with your help. Call Gazette reporter Adam Belz at (319) 398-8273 or e-mail him: adam.belz@gazcomm.com

My goodness is Brian Gardner confident!

In an almost monotone voice that exudes inevitability, candidate for Linn County sheriff Brian Gardner continues to make the same point leading up to the Tuesday primary. It boils down to this (and I paraphrase): You would be an idiot not to vote for me.

Gardner’s opponent, Bill Elam, is not doing a good job of rebutting this, at least not publicly.

Gardner is third in command in Don Zeller’s generally well-respected sheriff’s office. He speaks and acts on behalf of the sheriff regularly, he has a long list of impressive credentials and he says frankly that he’s always wanted to be sheriff, spent his career training for the job and now knows that he’s ready.

He enjoys broad support. Everyone from City Council Member Brian Fagan to Mount Vernon businesswoman Mary Quass to Rich Patterson of the Indian Creek Nature Center has contributed to his campaign. Also: Linda Langston, Amy Boyle, Joan McCalmant, Mary Lou Pazour, Rich Mahaney and many others. Michael Carr, the Linn County jail administrator, donated $500 to Gardner’s campaign. I called him to make sure the name and address listed on Gardner’s campaign finance report matched the Michael Carr who operates the county’s extremely cost-effective jail.

It did. “He’s the only candidate, as far as I’m concerned,” Carr said.

Elam, a deputy who mans the metal detector at the entrance to the county courthouse on most days, would appear to have an uphill battle. He’s not a polished public speaker, his basic campaign message is that the troops under Zeller and Gardner aren’t happy and need to be, and he’s dogged by Audrey Rahn, a Cedar Rapids resident who’s still angry about Elam’s role in an infamous dog castration in the early 1990s.

But Elam has been able to raise some money and he’s got one group firmly behind him: the unions. The Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 125 and four other union groups including the IBEW Educational Committee in D.C., have donated to his campaign fund.

Whoever wins on Tuesday will face former Cedar Rapids Public Safety Commissioner David Zahn.

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Filed under: County Government, , ,

5 Responses

  1. SJ says:

    I don’t even think we need an election. However wasn’t Gardner in charge of the jail at the time of that candy scandal and was transfer shortly after that? I think both candidates have some negative points.

  2. gs says:

    The story seems a little one-sided.

    Gardner’s credentials are listed and they are labeled as “impressive”. Elam’s credentials are as follows: “Elam, a deputy who mans the metal detector at the entrance to the county courthouse on most days”. I suspect Elam has a few more redeeming qualities. Elam is criticized as an unpolished public speaker and someone that does a poor job of rebuttal.

    Gardner statements appear to be quoted or paraphrased. Elam is not quoted or paraphrased.

    The story quoted a Gardner supporter. No supporters of Elam were quoted.

    Gardner’s support appears to be broad and from public leaders. In addition he has support from “many others.” Apparently Elam’s supporters are limited to the unions.

  3. Seth says:

    GS – The article’s title clearly informs the reader that the contents are related to Brian Gardner and his candidacy.

    Pointing out the fact that an article titled “My Goodness is Brian Gardner Confident” is mostly about Brian Gardner is, well, a bit obvious, isn’t it?

    I swear, people will find anything to complain about these days.

  4. gs says:

    Seth, if the “article’s title clearly informs the reader that the contents are related to Brian Gardner and his candidacy” then why is approximately 1/3 of the article dedicated to Mr. Elam?

    Pointing out the fact that an article titled “My Goodness is Brian Gardner Confident” has approximately 1/3 dedicated to Mr. Elam and is not mostly about Brian Gardner is, well, a bit obvious, isn’t it?

    I swear, people will find anything to complain about these days.

  5. JES says:

    I vote for Brian. He is much more suited to do the job. I, like Ms. Rohn, will never forgive Mr. Elam for what he did. If he would treat a helpless animal the way he did what would he do to a helpless person.

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