Former Third District congressional candidate Dave Funk leads the new slate of candidates. Funk will run in District Three. Bonita Davis was nominated to run in District Four, and Anita Morrill is now the Republican candidate in District Five.
“This has been a very encouraging evening with all three of these great conservative candidates stepping up to make a difference for Liberty,” said John Bloom, Polk County Republican Chair. “We are looking forward to a dynamic campaign of a sort that we have not seen in Polk County in a long time.”
Out of the three new candidates, Funk is probably the candidate with the best shot at winning. Funk will now face off against Tom Hockensmith. Hockensmith is former union boss who was also a policy advisor for Tom Vilsack before being elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2002. Funk would provide an excellent alternative to voters in the third supervisor district in Polk County.
Funk would bring a rural perspective to the Board. He would also bring knowledge of working with labor unions and local governments. Funk is a reserve police officer with the Pleasant Hill Police Department.
Funk’s presence on the ballot should also help Zaun in those eastern Polk County districts, where Funk was the strongest in the congressional primary. Funk won 16 of the 18 Polk County precincts that Zaun didn’t win, most of them located in the district Funk seeks to represent this fall. Funk’s presence on the general election ballot could also help a couple down ballot legislative races, especially Joe Priillo, who is running for the State Senate in District 21 against Dennis Black.
Funk’s candidacy also will also attract the support of numerous Tea Party activists who voted for him in the June 8th primary. The Tea Party having one of their own on the ballot this November gives Funk a tremendous volunteer base that most other supervisor candidates would never have.
Out of anyone that Polk County Republicans could find to run against Hockensmith, Funk is by far their best option. Running for supervisor immediately following his bid for the congress provides Funk with a number of advantages that a traditional candidate running against an incumbent wouldn’t have. First, Funk’s participation in the seven-way congressional primary helped increase his name I.D. in the district. Funk’s previous campaign also allowed him to sharpen his skills as a candidate, create a volunteer base, and identify supporters.
It is also good to see the Polk County Republican Party going on the offensive. Democrats have held the majority of seats on the Polk County Board of Supervisors since 1948. If one of the three candidates that were nominated last night wins this November, Republicans gain control of the Board of Supervisors. That would be an amazing accomplishment, but this might be the best chance they are going to get.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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