Bartz concedes Senate 26 race to Wilhelm

2012-11-07T14:42:00Z 2012-11-07T22:55:22Z Bartz concedes Senate 26 race to WilhelmBy JOHN SKIPPER Mason City Globe Gazette
November 07, 2012 2:42 pm  • 

GRAFTON — State Sen. Merlin Bartz, R-Grafton, conceded defeat Wednesday to Sen. Mary J. Wilhelm, D-Cresco for the new District 26 Senate seat.

The race was decided by 120 votes with more than 30,000 votes cast.

Complete but unofficial results from the new seven-county district showed Wilhelm with 15,511 votes to 15,391 for Bartz, a 120-vote margin out of 30,920 votes cast. There were 18 write-in votes.

Bartz said Tuesday night he considered the outcome “undetermined” but he reconsidered Wednesday.

“I congratulate Sen. Wilhelm on her victory,” he said in a news release.

“She ran a stellar campaign and I wish her the best in her service next January.”  

Bartz said he and his family wanted to thank all his volunteers and supporters.

“We have analyzed the 120 vote margin in conjunction with additional provisional and absentee ballots that are being and may be received and do not believe they would change the outcome and have chosen to not seek a recount,” said Bartz.  

“I continue to be troubled by the ongoing criminal investigation into voter fraud in Floyd County but do not believe that prolonging the election until the prosecution is finished is in the best interest of the citizens of this district or of this state.”

Wilhelm said Wednesday she will hold regular listening posts throughout her district.

“I plan to continue doing what I’ve done in the past. I like to hold listening posts in county seat towns and alternate them with listening posts in some of the smaller towns in the district,” she said.

“It is an opportunity for the citizens to learn what is going on but, just as important, it is an opportunity for me to learn.”

Wilhelm is a professional appraiser. She served 12 years on the Howard County Board of Supervisors before being elected to the Senate four years ago.

 Senate District 26 includes Worth, Mitchell, Howard, Floyd and Chickasaw counties and parts of Winneshiek and Cerro Gordo counties.

Copyright 2015 Mason City Globe Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(8) Comments

  1. LGBTAlly
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    LGBTAlly - November 08, 2012 10:45 am
    Policy making and then effective practice: that's good government!
  2. JKK
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    JKK - November 08, 2012 7:02 am
    Hhhmmm. Is Merlin thinking I should quit playing with paper dolls and just go out and build my fence?

    Agreed, better candidate won. We now have a policy maker instead of a politician to represent us.
  3. Roadster
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    Roadster - November 07, 2012 9:12 pm
    The cardboard cutout was a stupid idea and the hosts of the debates should not have allowed him to do that. But. . . that takes away from the fact that the best person won this race. Mary Jo is one of the nicest people you'll ever meet and she loves her job representing her Senate district in Des Moines. We won big time with her and Merlin can go home and bahave childish out of sight.
  4. gonefishing
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    gonefishing - November 07, 2012 4:38 pm
    You know who started the empty chair thing! That old senile fool Clint Eastwood!!!
  5. iowan53
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    iowan53 - November 07, 2012 4:20 pm
    Another bagger out. It's a good day.
  6. Paying Attention
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    Paying Attention - November 07, 2012 4:11 pm
    The cutout did it for me too. The equally childish and stupid Stan Walk did the same trick, getting folks to take photos of him pointing at an empty chair. So I voted against him as well. This isn't second grade. Elected officials should act a little more mature than that. For not doing much campaigning Ms.Dunn got a lot of votes. Maybe not all for her, but a lot of them against Walk from folks in our area that I know.
  7. Northeast iowa
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    Northeast iowa - November 07, 2012 3:00 pm
    Shouldn't of carried that card board cut out of Wilhelm around Mr Bartz. That's what lost my vote/
  8. midwest
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    midwest - November 07, 2012 2:58 pm
    After reading this why is there any question on who won? You wrote 5,511to 15,391 which shows Wilhelm winning by nearly 10,000 votes.
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