I am changing to No Party

About eleven years ago, I received a phone call from former Linn County Auditor Linda Langenberg asking me to run for county auditor. I did my homework and decided to run. I ran in a six-way race and won with the support of Democrats, Republicans, no party voters, and unions. Thank you voters!

Subsequently, I ran in Democratic primary elections in 2008, 2012, and 2016. I won the primary elections with the support of rank & file Democrats; and Republicans and no party voters who became Democrats-for-a-day to vote in the Democratic primary elections. Thank you voters!

I won the general elections in 2008, 2012, and 2016. Again, rank & file Democrats, Republicans, and no party voters supported me. In the 2012 general, I received more votes from that combination of voters than any other county-wide candidate in a contested race. Thank you voters!

I think I won those elections because the people – the taxpayers – the voters – believed that I always put them first before any party. And I truly believe every candidate elected to county office should always put the people first before party.

So today, I am changing my party affiliation to No Party to reflect what I have been doing on a daily basis for almost eleven years, i.e. putting people first before party.

Going forward, I want you to know that the Office of Linn County Auditor – as long as I am your Auditor – will be governed by an elected official that is not affiliated with any political party. Further, if I run for county office in the future, I will not be affiliated with any political party.

I support the non-partisan election of county officers as proposed in SF101 sponsored by Senator David Johnson and others.

And in 2018, I will lobby Iowa’s legislators to support the non-partisan election of county officers.

I have never forgotten where I came from … nor who got me here. It is an honor for me to serve the people of Linn County. Thank you voters! – Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor

One Response to “I am changing to No Party”

  1. Linn County Auditor Says:

    Note: The following was posted on Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers blog earlier this year, but there is no trace of it now. Interestingly, Rogers wrote, “I am in favor for a change in state law that would make Board of Supervisors races non-partisan.” I walked-the-talk; Rogers did not.

    Leaving partisanship at the door by Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers on December 22, 2011

    When it comes to local governments, the Board of Supervisors is an unusual breed of government. What makes it unusual? The fact that we have to run as partisans for a position that really isn’t or shouldn’t be partisan. The Cedar Rapids City Council members, for instance, do not have to run as Democrats or Republicans, but state law requires that we do. Potholes are not Democrat or Republican issues; it is simply a pot hole that needs to be filled. Helping people with mental health issues, physical and intellectual disabilities are not partisan issues. Ensuring that local workers have a level playing field to work on local reconstruction projects with a good wage should not be partisan. I am in favor for a change in state law that would make Board of Supervisors races non-partisan.

    The Linn County Board of Supervisors, comprised of 3 Democrats and 2 Republicans, has done a diligent job of working well together, communicating openly, respecting our differences on issues, keeping an open mind to solutions to solve complex problems and almost as important; leaving partisanship at the door.

    There are Board of Supervisors in Iowa that do not follow our common sense approach to solving problems. Others engage in overt partisanship. It is a general “rule” that the party in power can shut out the minority party by not letting them be Chair or Vice-Chair of the Board, purposefully keeping them out of committee/liaison assignments and not listening to their ideas. This happens more than people think, but not in Linn County. As I finish the year as Chair of the Board, I am excited that Supervisor Brent Oleson, a Republican, will become the new Chair of the Board of Supervisors and newly elected Supervisor John Harris, a Republican, will become Vice-Chair. The chair of the Board rotates with our district numbers. I represent District 3, Supervisor Oleson represents District 4 and Supervisors Harris represents District 5. Other partisan Board of Supervisors where party labels matter more would never let something like this happen.

    Some have joked to me why as a Democrat I would let the Republicans rotate into these positions. The answer is simple: our partisan titles do not matter and we come to our meetings focused on moving our communities forward in a positive direction and being fierce stewards of your hard earned tax dollars.

    I am excited for the opportunities and challenges 2012 will present us and have enjoyed every second of being Chair of the Board.

    I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year.


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