GARNER | In front of a crowded boardroom filled with family, friends and future colleagues, Blake Norman officially became the Hancock County Attorney Wednesday in Garner.
Blake Norman, whose legal name is Robert Blake Norman, was sworn in as county attorney by Judge Karen Kaufman Salic after the Hancock County Board of Supervisors unanimously appointed him to fill the vacancy left by former county attorney David Solheim.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Norman’s mother, Tammy, who has been an Iowa State Association of Counties employee since 1996.
Norman’s parents, Tammy and Henry, who live in Indianola, and his younger sister, Nicole, a senior at the University of Northern Iowa student teaching in the Des Moines area this fall, drove more than two hours to witness his oath of office as well as tour where he will be living and working.
“We wouldn’t miss it,” Henry said.
Nicole, who was standing by Norman’s girlfriend, Melissa Gudmundson, said she was “really excited” to have the day off from student teaching, so she could witness this important step in her brother’s career.
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Friends from Norman’s time as Cerro Gordo County assistant attorney from October 2012 to May 2016 also drove to Garner for the event.
“I have a lot of people looking in making sure I do this right,” Norman said with a smile after being asked about the number of people who attended his oath of office.
Norman, who was the assistant attorney in Scott County before accepting his new position, was greeted with “Congratulations,” as he shook hands with Hancock County supervisors and employees.
In October, supervisors — and several members of county staff — selected Norman as the county’s “top choice” for county attorney after interviewing four finalists for the position.
The other finalists were Todd Chelf, Burlington; Scott Miller, Cape Coral, Florida; Jonathan Miller, Belmond and Norman, Davenport.
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At the time, Norman said he has “big shoes to fill” with the departure of Solheim, whose last day was Nov. 1. He and his wife returned to Nebraska to be closer to family, according to his resignation letter.
Solheim was appointed as Hancock County attorney in 2013 after working as deputy county attorney in Washington County, Nebraska.
In September, the supervisors unanimously voted to appoint the county’s next attorney instead of holding a special election. The next general election is November 2018. Norman's salary is $98,127.