Stewart, Dickey face off for Iowa Senate seat

Mary Stewart

Democratic candidate
Mary Stewart Democratic candidate

FAIRFIELD — Voters in Iowa Senate District 41 will go to the polls Tuesday for a special election between Democrat Mary Stewart and Republican Adrian Dickey.

The two are competing to fill a Senate seat vacated by Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks upon her election to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The last day to vote in-person absentee is today, Monday.

Senate District 41 consists of all of Van Buren and Davis counties, and most of Jefferson and Wapello counties, including the cities of Fairfield and Ottumwa. Four townships in Jefferson County are not included in the district, and they are Buchanan, Lockridge, Walnut and Round Prairie. To find out what Senate district you live in and whether you are eligible to vote in this election, enter your address online at ttps://, or call the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office at 641-472-2840.

The special election was called by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds in late December. At that point, Miller-Meeks had been declared the winner over Democrat Rita Hart, a contest that took weeks to resolve as Hart at one point appeared to be leading but later trailed Miller-Meeks by six votes after a recount.

The two political parties had to scramble to field candidates for the special election that was just a month away. On Jan. 7, members of each party’s central committee in Iowa Senate District 41 met to select a candidate, with the Democrats selecting Stewart and the Republicans selecting Dickey.

Dickey, of rural Packwood, is the president of Dickey Transport in Packwood. Stewart, of Ottumwa, is retired from her job as dean of academic services at Indian Hills Community College. Neither have held elected office before. Dickey has never run for office before. Stewart ran for this same seat against Miller-Meeks in 2018 and lost by about 4 percentage points, 52-48.

Dickey, a member of the Packwood Volunteer Fire Department, has said he wants to increase the tax credit for volunteer first responders from $100 a year to $1,000. Stewart has said she wants to prioritize education, especially funding for public schools.

Following is the complete list of polling places in Jefferson County:

• Batavia — Batavia Community Center.

• Blackhawk Township — Packwood Fire Station.

• Cedar Township — Jefferson Co. Ag Grounds Activity Building.

• Center Township — Jefferson Co. Ag Grounds Activity Building.

• Des Moines Township — Libertyville Community Center.

• Fairfield City, First Ward — Fairfield High School Auditorium Lobby.

• Fairfield City, Second Ward — Lincoln Elementary School.

• Fairfield City, Third Ward — Nazarene Family Center.

• Fairfield City, Fourth Ward — Jefferson County Courthouse.

• Fairfield City, Fifth Ward — Pence Elementary School.

• Liberty Township — Libertyville Community Center.

• Libertyville City — Libertyville Community Center.

• Locust Grove Township — Batavia Community Center.

• Maharishi Vedic City — Jefferson Co. Ag Grounds Activity Building.

• Packwood City — Packwood Fire Station.

• Penn Township — Pleasant Plain Community Center.

• Pleasant Plain City — Pleasant Plain Community Center.

• Polk Township — Packwood Fire Station.