Voters head to polls Tuesday for primary

Callanan, McLaughlin face off for Supervisor seat

Republican incumbent Casey Callanan, of Clear Lake, is being challenged by another Clear Laker, Kelly McLaughlin, in the Cerro Gordo County District 2 Supervisor race.  The primary election will be held Tuesday, June 7.  The candidates were invited to share their background and views with readers by responding to a questionnaire prepared by this newspaper.  The Democratic Party does not have a candidate in the District 2 Supervisor race.  

Casey Callanan


Casey M. Callanan, aged 42.  I’m a sixth-generation Cerro Gordo resident, graduate of CLHS, class of 1998 and a 2002 graduate of Iowa State.  My wife is Hunter Schurtz Callanan, who works at the North Iowa Corridor Economic Development Corporation.  My father, Mike Callanan, taught at CLHS for 28 years, and currently serves on the Clear Lake City Council.  My mother, Cathy Callanan, worked as a nurse at Opportunity Village for 30 years.  I’m a partner at First Insurance, Inc., and have been extensively involved in Cerro Gordo county community betterment efforts.  Among these are, Past President of the Clear Lake area Chamber of Commerce, Past President of the Cerro Gordo County Independent Insurance Agents Association, co-Chair of the Clear Lake fireworks endowment campaign, and past Chair of the Cerro Gordo County Community Foundation.  I interned in the Iowa Legislature and worked for the Congressional Budget committee in D.C. 

Are there specific issues which motivated you to seek office? 

My motivation to seek public office resulted from a long-time interest in wanting to contribute to the betterment of North Iowa.  Cerro Gordo county is wonderful, as are its citizens, and I view the role of a locally elected official as a form of community service.  But like any successful enterprise, competent management is essential to sustained success.  That’s my goal, each and every day.  I’d like to continue providing this to residents.   

What is your top priority if elected? 

Spending and taxes.  I will continue to be responsible with your tax dollars and carefully watch the bottom line by lowering the levy while providing high quality services.  I’ve implemented policies in recent years which have strengthened Cerro Gordo.  These measures have helped our county to remain competitive and attractive to employers, and as an affordable, desirable place to live, work, and raise families.  The people of Cerro Gordo county expect and deserve nothing less. 

Supervisors reside in both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.  What would you say to a city, or rural, resident wondering if you understand their specific concerns? 

While in office and campaigning, I’ve met with hundreds of Cerro Gordo county residents from all walks of life, and from every direction.  This includes rural citizens, city residents, and everything in between.  I fully understand the importance of agriculture to our local economy and have voted for infrastructure improvements to ensure that our roads and bridges are taken care of accordingly.  In addition, I have worked with law enforcement to make sure that they have the necessary funding to patrol our roads and maintain our jail which keep both the incorporated and unincorporated communities safe.  I’m very accessible and have ALWAYS made the effort to understand and be responsive to the concerns of ALL constituents. 

Kelly McLaughlin


My name is Kelly McLaughlin and I am running for Cerro Gordo County Supervisor.  I am a life-long resident of Clear Lake.  I have two married daughters and six grandchildren.  My parents were born and raised in Swaldale and Thornton before moving to Clear Lake to raise our family.  I am a graduate of Clear Lake High School.  Prior to retirement, I was the acting Maintenance Supervisor for the Clear Lake Sanitary District.  In my working career I have also worked for the Clear Lake Community School District as Facilities/Transportation Director, Alliant Energy, Northern Natural Gas and Farmers Co-Op Elevator. Former elected or appointed positions I have served on were the Clear Lake Sanitary District Board and trustee for the Clear Lake Evangelical Free Church.   My past work experiences have given me an abundant knowledge of budgeting, utilities, infrastructure and facilities maintenance.  My supervisory careers have taught me to be a good listener and that everyone has a right to be heard, which helps in making the right decisions.

Are there specific issues which motivated you to seek office? 

I am running for Supervisor because I want to be a part of the decision-making process to help our county prosper.  I want to put my years of knowledge and experience to work for our community.  This will be my full-time job and I will have the time to investigate situations before making decisions that will affect my neighbors.  

What is your top priority if elected? 

My top priority if elected would be to be a good listener and voice for the people who have elected me.  I want to share what I have learned in my working career with the board so we can make the right decisions and achieve higher goals.  

Supervisors reside in both incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.  What would you say to a city, or rural, resident wondering if you understand their specific concerns? 

Living in the city, I am constantly watching what is happening in my community.  I have worked for the public school district and a local utility company that served both city and rural residents.  Because of the positions I have held, I have had the opportunity to understand infrastructure, right away, tiles, easements, and much more. I have also had living experiences in both the city and rural areas.

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