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2 Iowa Supreme Court justices retain seats following retention vote

Iowans were able to vote this election cycle on whether or not judges should retain their seats.

IOWA, USA — Visit this link for complete election results or text RESULTS to 515-457-1026.

Two appointees of Gov. Kim Reynolds to the Iowa Supreme Court have retained their seats following Tuesday's elections.

Matthew McDermott and Dana Oxley received at least 66% approval in their judicial retention votes.

McDermott received 67.5% approval and Oxley 66.9%, according to data from the Iowa Secretary of State's office.

Gina Badding and Paul Ahlers also received sufficient support for their spots on the Iowa Appellate Court.

A 1962 Amendment to the Iowa Constitution made it so judges are not elected but appointed through a merit selection process. As one of 21 states to hold retention elections, Iowa aims to keep judges impartial over their terms.

Typically located on the back of the ballot, voters have the option to vote on whether a judge should be retained.

If a judge receives more "no" votes than "yes" from their constituents, the judge will be removed from office at the end of the year.

The Iowa State Bar Association compiles performance evaluation surveys about judges. You can view those surveys here.

Polk County judges, located in District 5C, were also universally retained: 

  • Jeffrey Farrell (District Judge)
  • Robert Hanson (District Judge) 
  • William Kelly (District Judge) 
  • David Porter (District Judge) 
  • Scott Rosenberg (District Judge) 
  • Paul Scott (District Judge) 
  • Jeanie Vaudt (District Judge) 
  • Susan Cox (Associate Judge) 
  • Cynthia Moisan (Associate Judge) 
  • Brent Pattison (Associate Judge) 
  • Jesse Ramirez (Associate Judge) 
  • Kimberly Rodgers Smith (Associate Judge) 

Voter engagement on judicial retention was significantly less than that for governor or U.S. Senate: less than 900,000 total votes were cast for the Iowa Supreme Court retention positions, while more than 1.2 million votes were tallied for the gubernatorial race.

Click here to view complete Iowa judicial retention results by district

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