Geneva, Latimer results are final but Hansell has all the drama

The elections in three Franklin County communities are now in.

In Geneva, incumbent Mayor Sean Porter won re-election over challenger Raymond Silver by a 46-28 margin. On the Geneva City Council, Stephen Love, Todd Olmstead, Todd Pilchard, and Jesse Viet were elected. Write-in candidate Andrew Graff nabbed the fifth seat up for grabs in Geneva.

Over in Latimer, three unchallenged candidates were joined by a write-in. Incumbent Mayor Kent Morton was re-elected. On the city council, Cathy Crooks and Randy DeBour were elected along with write-in candidate Lawrence Meyer.

The Hansell election may be the most unusual and exciting of all the races in Franklin County.

The Hansell mayor's race did not have any official candidates and was between two write-in candidates. Write-in Jason Harper - who also was running for re-election as a Hansell city council member - defeated fellow write-in candidate Doug Symens by a 15-9 margin.

On the Hansell City Council, the drama deepened as four candidates were elected for the five seats. However, two candidates were tied for the fifth and final seat.

Elected to the city council were incumbents Joe Hanna, Jess Harlan, and Michael Norman. Joining those three is Colton Harper. The fifth seat was a tie between Deloris Cunningham and Jason Harper - whom both had 17 votes. However, Harper cannot hold both the mayor's seat and a city council seat, so a resolution will have to be reached when the Franklin County Supervisors canvas the vote on Nov. 12. 

Franklin County Auditor Michelle Giddings said the Hansell situation is something she's never encountered. 

"What happens is when the supervisors canvas," Giddings said "They will put their names in a hat, then they will draw a name out and that name will be the winner of that position. That's what the Code of Iowa states." 

"If Deloris wins the draw, then she has that position. If Jason wins the draw, then he is given the choice of what position he wants (mayor or council member). He has to put that in writing, which position he prefers."

Giddings said things could become more complicated if Jason Harpers wins the draw for a council seat and opts to not take the mayor's chair. In that event, Giddings admitted she was not sure what outcome would result.

"This is kind of an odd situation, this doesn't happen very often," Giddings said.