No votes cast in small-town Iowa school board race

MCINTIRE, Iowa — An Iowa farmer who was running unopposed for his local school board failed to earn any votes — not even his own — but he’ll probably still get the job.

Randy Richardson, 42, didn’t find time to vote for himself between his full-time maintenance job at a bean processing plant in Riceville and his chores on his farm near McIntire, The Des Moines Register reported.

Richardson was recruited to run by school staff, and though he said he’s “run paper thin the way it is,” he agreed because he has two kids in the district.

Neighbor Jessie Miller said there wasn’t any key issue to drive her to vote in the school board race.

“I would’ve voted for him!” she said. “He’s an awesome guy.”

Riceville is a farming community of around 500 residents near the Minnesota border. The school board district Richardson was running for is also home to a number of Amish and Mennonite farmers who typically don’t vote.

There are only 122 registered voters who could have voted for Richardson. Across the entire school district, only 36 people voted in the Sept. 8 election.

School board president Karl Fox, who also farms, said the timing of last week’s vote was unfortunate because it’s a busy time of year for fieldwork.

Fox said farmers have a hard time sacrificing a day of nice weather at this time of year, and many people in the area have to drive 50 miles or more to get to work each day.

“It’s hard to get the general public to remember when to vote for president,” Fox said.

But Richardson will likely still get the job on the Riceville School Board because the board probably will appoint him to fill the seat he was running for, Fox said.

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