WARREN COUNTY, Iowa — Nearly 66% of voters participating in Warren County's special election Tuesday chose Democrat Kimberly Sheets as their new auditor, according to unofficial election results released by the county.
Sheets replaces Republican David Whipple, who served as the interim county auditor after previous auditor Traci VanderLinden left office in May for "personal reasons" after 27 years.
In total, Sheets took home 5,051 votes against Whipple's 2,538 — making Sheets the "auditor elect."
The next step to make Sheets the election overseer in Warren County will happen on Wednesday, Sept. 6, when the county's board of directors will meet to certify the election.
Sheets served as the county's deputy auditor for four years, but she told Local 5 that the fully-Republican board of directors decided to give the open position to Whipple instead.
Once Whipple took office, he put Sheets on paid leave.
"I was on vacation before," she explained, "And I came in the office, and I was there for a couple of hours, and he put me on administrative leave."
Warren County residents later discovered old, controversial social media posts that Whipple had posted. In response, Warren County Democrats started a petition and received more than the required 2,500 voters to hold a special election for the auditor seat.
"They came up with almost 35,000, I believe," Sheets explained. "The people wanted their chance to say who they wanted in there, and hold the election, and we were successful in doing that."
Whipple's office told Local 5 they would send a statement, but have not yet sent one as of Wednesday night. We also reached out for comment from the county's board of supervisors, but didn't hear back from them either.