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Letter to the Editor

October 11, 2018
Northern-Sun Print
Letter to the Editor: As a long-time Tama County resident, I wish to voice my support for Brent Heeren as Tama County Attorney and point out an issue I feel is important for Tama County voters to be aware of regarding Brent’s opponent, Michael Marquess. In my opinion, Mr. Marquess has fraudulently registered to vote in Tama County for the sole purpose of running for County Attorney. The rules governing running for a County office require a candidate to be registered to vote in that County. Mr. Marquess has been a resident of Marshall County for many years. I assume all of his voting prior to his registering in Tama County has occurred in Marshall County. His wife is a District Court Judge in Marshall County. The rules of her appointment as a District Court Judge require her to reside within her district. Tama County is not in her Judicial District so she cannot move here. Mr. Marquess’s children reside and go to school in Marshall County. Mr. Marquess has tried to circumvent the residency problem by buying a one bedroom home at Union Grove Lake that I would call a “weekend getaway” cabin. He used that purchase as a sham to register to vote in Tama County so that he could then run for County Attorney. I made a call to the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office to ask if owning a weekend home was enough for someone to be able to vote in that county. The Secretary of State’s Office regulates the rules regarding these issues. I was told that no one should be allowed to register to vote in a County if their primary overnight residence is in a different County. Thus if Mr. Marquess should not have been allowed to register to vote in Tama County, he should not have been able to run for County office. What Mr. Marquess has done is perpetrate a fraud on the people of Tama County by claiming to be a resident of this county when in fact he is not. Nor will he ever be. Our police officers and sheriff’s deputies must live in Tama County so they are immediately available to respond to emergencies. Our County Attorney should be required to do no less. A question I would pose to the voters of Tama County is simply this: Do we really want a County Attorney enforcing our laws who would use these kinds of tactics? It is my intention to file a challenge to Mr. Marquess’s registration to vote in Tama County. This issue won’t be heard until after the election. But if the challenge is successful, Mr. Marquess would not be able to hold the County Attorney position if he were to be elected. I have pointed these issues out to Mr. Marquess on his Facebook page, however, Mr. Marquess has chosen to simply delete the posts, including his responses, rather than let the voters of Tama County be fully aware of all of the issues in this race. As a matter of full disclosure, in addition to  being a long time resident of Tama County and a retired Unites States Navy JAG, I also work for the Tama County Attorney’s Office. I interned with Brent thirty years ago and I am proud to be associated with the office again. Michael Bandy Traer, Iowa


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