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Residents of western Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri will go to be the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6.The various ballots across the tri-state region feature races for governor, congress, and seats in state legislatures and county government.The news department at Tri States Public Radio has been talking to the candidates so you can be a more informed voter.

Jim Steffen - Lee County Board - Election 2018

Jim Steffen is the Republican Party nominee for the District 3 seat on the Lee County Board.

Lee County Board Chairman Don Hunold is not seeking re-election this fall in District Three. Two men are vying to replace him, including Republican Jim Steffen of Argyle.


Jim Steffen is a graduate of Keokuk High School and a lifelong resident of Lee County. He and his wife, Diana, have four children and have been married nearly 30 years. Steffen said he’s retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Army. He now works as a correctional officer at the Iowa State Penitentiary.

Why Running

Steffen said he’s been working to bring jobs to Lee County for several years by contacting companies in other states and asking them to consider relocating to southeast Iowa. He said he realized his efforts might have more success if he had more of an influence -- as opposed to being a regular citizen -- so he entered the race for the Lee County Board.

Steffen said he also wants to help make Lee County a destination for young people instead of being a place where young people get their education and then leave. He said his military career also prepared him for the leadership role that comes with being a member of the county board.

Top Priorities

Steffen said his top priority if elected is economic development. He said he also wants to see if the county can help promote more vocational technology education in local schools and he wants to make sure people know what the county board is doing.

“I have run into so many people during this campaign that I will tell them I am running for county board [and] they will ask what the job entails,” said Steffen. “So I want to promote that and then get help from the community because if they don’t know what I am doing, how am I going to connect with them.”


Rich Harlow is the Democratic Party nominee for the District 3 seat on the Lee County board of Supervisors. District 3 includes western Fort Madison and five townships in west-central Lee County.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.