The Hot Beat


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

Hen-pecked Houser and Linda “The Brain” Langston

Supervisor candidate John Erceg displayed a remarkable (and some would say refreshing) lack of political sophistication on Thursday.

If you’re an elected official in Linn County government, you’re a Democrat. And if your name isn’t Joel Miller or Don Zeller, than you don’t break rank to level even the slightest criticism against a colleague. At least not publicly.

Enter John Erceg, a shoot-from-the-hip Republican running in District 2 (southeast Linn County and southeast Cedar Rapids) against Linda Langston.

Speaking to The Gazette’s editorial board, Erceg said Linn Supervisor James Houser is “off in the the corner” at supervisor meetings while his colleagues Langston and Lu Barron do all the talking.

“The two ladies’ll take the game and run with it,” he said.

Erceg has been attending supervisor meetings regularly in the past month or so.

Asked which of the two “ladies” sets the agenda, Erceg did not hesitate.

“Linda! That’s the only brains in the place,” he said. “She’s the only one with a college degree.”

(This second part is true, though Houser is a card-carrying union sheet metal worker and Barron is a former director of the Freedom Festival.)

Now, Langston is Erceg’s opponent in the Nov. 4 election, so what does he gain politically by arguing she’s the only smart one on the board?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Houser faces Republican Dave Machacek in District 5, which covers western Linn County and parts of southwest Cedar Rapids.

Barron is running unopposed in District 1, which covers downtown Cedar Rapids and surrounding areas.

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One Response

  1. […] 26, 2008 by adambelz Houser called John Erceg’s analysis a “whacko,” though he acknowledged that Langston does a lot of the talking at supervisor […]

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