Primary looming for supervisor seat

Two seek GOP nomination in District 2

-Messenger file photo
The Webster County Courthouse is pictured in July 2021. Two Republican candidates for Webster County supervisor are on the ballot for the primary in June.

Two candidates are seeking the Republican nomination for the District 2 seat on the Webster County Board of Supervisors in the June 4 primary election.

They are Randy Andrews, of Dayton, and Nathan Montgomery, of Burnside.

The winner will face Democratic Supervisor Mark Campbell in the November general election.

District 2 is most of the southern half of the county.

The Messenger sent some written questions to Andrews and Montgomery. Their answers are printed below.

Randy Andrews

Address: Dayton

Education: Graduate of Southeast Webster High School

Occupation: Retired after 22 years of military service. Now owns Lehigh Locker and a mobile poultry processing unit called the Chickin Pluckin Truck

Community involvement: Lehigh Fire Department, Dayton Rescue Squad, Dayton Wranglers Club

1. What would be your top priority if you are elected?

Stop excessive tax hikes and levies and remove negligent and wasteful spending of your tax dollars.

2. What would you propose to create more jobs in Webster County?

Promote economic development throughout the county, especially in the rural areas that have been lacking attention for years. Using resources like the Small Business Administration and Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance to grow small business therefore creating jobs in local communities.

3. What would you propose to create more housing in the smaller communities in Webster County?

Lower property taxes can bring home buyers. It also brings in developers to build more homes in the small communities.

Housing can be a form of health care. If you live in a community with good neighbors you’re happier and healthier.

4. What is your opinion of carbon dioxide pipelines?

I’m against eminent domain taking family homes for anything

Carbon dioxide is needed in the atmosphere to grow crops, for farmers to feed us.

Nathan Montgomery

Address: Burnside

Education: Graduate of St. Edmond Catholic School

Occupation: Owner of Montgomery Lawn Service LLC

1. What would be your top priority if you are elected?

My top priorities include focusing on our rural communities, supporting family farms, working to reduce taxes for our residents, and strengthening government transparency.

I believe capital allocation is a major focal point, especially allocating county funds to help our rural communities, such as Gowrie, Dayton, Callender, Otho, Coalville, etc. Whether that be TIF (tax increment financing) dollars to put towards capital improvements in these areas, or an allocation from the general and/or rural supplemental funds, I will be a champion for our small towns.

I will also stand firmly against any eminent domain use to protect our landowners’ rights, as well as their family farms and agricultural property.

I believe further strengthening government transparency is key and will improve the trust and relationship between the Board of Supervisors and the public.

2. What would you propose to create more jobs in Webster County?

In relation to job creation, there are a lot of dynamics and factors that play into employment growth in the county. As supervisor, I will work diligently with state authorities, such as the Iowa Economic Development office, state and county officials, and federal leaders to work on recruiting industry to Webster County.

The ag park is a major opportunity for Webster County to continue to build upon. Seeking businesses who can responsibly and safely use our agricultural resources to create business is a huge opportunity for us in Webster County. A great example of that is CJ Bio, or Cargill. The world we live in is highly competitive in regard to recruiting new business to our area, so we have to be proactive leaders in seeking new industry.

Another large aspect of job creation is making sure we have a skilled workforce. We must educate, train, and retain people in our community who can be productive employees for these businesses. By having a trained and skilled workforce, we can attract industry to our area, especially in trades and agriculture.

3. What would you propose to create more housing in the smaller communities in Webster County?

Growing the supply of housing opportunities in our community is another complex conversation and task. As local elected leaders, we must work with state agencies, and developers to come into our community to build, renovate, and provide new housing in Webster County. Two projects in our community are good examples of that. One is in Gowrie where the local Gowrie Development Commission has made a partnership with Origin Homes to build five new houses on the west side Gowrie. ( Editor’s note: the new houses will actually be on the east side of Gowrie.) This will be welcoming for new families to begin and/or continue their lives in our rural Webster County areas and also help our small town school systems continue to grow. This project is a great example of proactive leadership working with developers to solve the housing shortage issue.

Another project was the Phillips Middle School building. Renovating that with a developer helped turn a vacant building into a great affordable housing opportunity. To answer the question simply, it takes creative, as well as ambitious minds, to create housing opportunities by working with developers, local, and state officials.

4. What is your opinion of carbon dioxide pipelines?

I firmly stand in opposition of the carbon dioxide pipeline proposal in regard to eminent domain. Eminent domain has no place in Webster County. As supervisor, I will fight against eminent domain to protect our landowners.

We must do everything we can to stop this project from moving forward. The Board of Supervisors (from my understanding) has sent a letter to the IUB (Iowa Utilities Board) stating they are against the use of eminent domain. It takes effort, tough conversations, and ambitious leadership skills to make sure we stop this project from coming through Webster County.


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