The Scott County Board of Supervisors voted to confirm the appoint of Kerri Tompkins to the seat of County Auditor, and Democrats are going through with efforts to call a special election.
On Tuesday, May 25, the Board voted 3-2 across party line to confirm the position's nominee, former Davenport Alderman Kerri Tompkins, who was named as the appointee Monday evening, less than a day before the confirmation vote.
Board Supervisor and Democrat Ken Croken made a motion to table the vote after the party's objection to the appointment process, but it was voted down.
Scott County Democrats previously raised concerns about the process, after the Republican-majority Board voted to fill the Auditor position via appointment instead of election, saying that the action makes for an undemocratic power grab.
Democrats also criticized the Tompkin's nomination being made public less than a day before the vote, and so late in the day that most of the time in between the events consisted of sleeping hours. They note that this limited time before the vote prevented public input and questioning on the candidacy.
"If this board is determined to take the anti-democratic position of appointing rather than electing, we could at least take the proper amount of time to consider who it is we're appointing," says Croken.
Republican Board member Toby Knobbe stood firmly behind Tompkins and he nomination, saying, "I think we have an excellent candidate. I have heard no other suggestions from either party or from any citizen."
Now that Tompkins has been named and appointed, Scott County Democrats will begin collecting the signatures required to force a special election for the Auditor seat.
Democrats will be running the petition drive from Wednesday, May 26 to Tuesday, June 8. They need to collect 9,350 signatures from the public within the two-week period to call the special election.
“The Scott County Democratic Party stands ready to fight for the rights of Scott County voters who deserve to have their voices heard,” said Elesha Gayman, Scott County Democratic Party Chair. “There is no office more significant in the maintenance of a strong democracy than that of the county auditor, the individual responsible for all elections in Scott County. We invite all Scott County voters, regardless of party, to join us in demanding accountability and having a voice in this vital component of our electoral process.”