Woodbury County Supervisor Disqualified From Serving On Board After Voter Registration Canceled

Jan 27, 2020

Jeremy Taylor, the Woodbury County Supervisor whose voter registration was canceled Friday, is disqualified from serving on the board of supervisors unless a court order intervenes, Pat Gill, Woodbury County’s Commissioner of Elections, said Monday. 

Arguments on Taylor’s voter registration were heard Thursday and Woodbury County Elections Commissioner Pat Gill issued a ruling Friday revoking Taylor's registration. Hours later, Taylor held a news conference where he blasted Gill's decision and stated his intent to file an appeal.

Gill said during a Monday news conference that a court order to reinstate Taylor's voter registration would suspend the Friday decision to cancel it and allow Taylor to continue serving on the board.

“As far as a decision goes, I feel comfortable I did the right thing,” Gill said. “But the bottom line is, it wasn’t about me, it was about Mr. Taylor’s actions.”

Taylor, who represents District 2 for the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors, spoke with reporters immediately following Gill’s remarks. He said he is consulting with legal counsel about the next steps in the appeal process.

“And part of this is about making sure that it’s completely understood why I did what I did, with legal counsel, in order to make sure that we fulfilled the residency requirements,” Taylor said.

Taylor owns two homes in Sioux City with his wife, Kim, that are within 9 miles of each other. In 2003, the Taylors purchased a home on Grandview Boulevard, which is where Jeremy Taylor was registered to vote until Friday. The Taylors purchased a second home, on Christy Road, in May 2019, where they primarily live with their children, though Taylor said Thursday he chose to reside more on Grandview Boulevard to fulfill his supervisor term, while the rest of his family lives on Christy Road.

The Christy Road home is outside of Taylor's Woodbury County district and is in Supervisor Marty Pottebaum's district.

A Thursday hearing took place after Sioux City resident Maria Rundquist filed a voter registration challenge in late December. During the hearing, local voter Dan Greenwell presented bills showing a decrease in Taylor’s water usage at the Grandview home since he and his family bought the Christy Road home. Taylor presented statements from several neighbors of his Grandview address that said they’ve “seen him come and go frequently.” Gill’s ruling Friday pointed to evidence of Taylor's water consumption history at his two homes as a factor in his decision to revoke Taylor’s voter registration.

Taylor said he was "bothered" that some of the evidence he presented was dismissed.

“I am bothered by the fact that five of my neighbors, within 100 feet, were dismissed for evidence of someone who does not live on my block,” Taylor said. “The preponderance of evidence, I think, is disconcerting.”

Taylor said he spoke with the head of Sioux  City's water department, who confirmed he used between nearly 750 and 1,500 gallons of water at his Grandview home over the course of a 4-month period, which contradicts Sioux City resident Dan Greenwell's statements Thursday saying Taylor used no water during most of those months.

"I plan to make sure that a judge can hear all the evidence," Taylor said.

Maria Rundquist, a Sioux City resident who has run for various local government positions, filed the voter registration challenge against Taylor on Dec. 30. She read a statement Monday: “Everybody knows Mr. Taylor is living off the taxpayers’ dollars and his gravy train is coming to the end of the line,” Rundquist said.

Taylor’s intent to appeal Gill's decision on his voter registration postponed a second hearing that was originally scheduled for Monday. The hearing stems from a challenge filed by another resident on whether Taylor should be forced to give up his board of supervisors seat since he doesn’t live in the district he was elected to represent. Gill said if Taylor’s seat is declared vacant, the county would either appoint someone to his position or could hold a special election for the seat. He added he’d favor a special election over an appointment.

Rundquist said if there is a special election for Taylor’s position, she “won’t rule that out.”

Iowa Code says a supervisor needs to be a registered voter "of the county or the supervisor district of the county which the supervisor represents." Taylor is also running for the Republican nomination for Iowa's 4th Congressional District. A spokesperson with the Iowa Secretary of State's office said a candidate must "meet all the requirements to register to vote, but does not have to be registered to vote."