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Meet the candidates: Latifah Faisal, Steve O'Rourke run for open Board of Supervisors seat

Danielle Gehr
Ames Tribune

Story County Supervisor Lauris Olson decided not to run for reelection, leaving a seat on the board up for grabs Nov. 3. 

Republican Steve O'Rourke and Democrat Latifah Faisal are running for the spot.

O'Rourke says his background in banking and construction will help him create better housing options in Story County. Faisal worked for 15 years in the Story County Attorney's Office where she was able to hear first-hand the housing and transportation challenges people in Story County face. 

Learn more about the candidates before you hit the polls: 

Democrat Latifah Faisal is running for Story County Board of Supervisors after 15 years at the Story County Attorney's Office.

Latifah Faisal (Democrat)

AGE: 47 

PLACE OF BIRTH: Ames, IA

PARTY: Democrat

OFFICE SOUGHT: Story County Board of Supervisors

GREW UP: Mostly in Ames, IA and some time in Saudi Arabia

CURRENT HOME: Ames

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None

QUESTIONS

What made you decide to run for Story County supervisor? 

In 2008, I identified a way to help victims of crime, while also assisting those involved in the criminal justice system, and create a brand-new revenue stream for Story County. Through the successful Fines Recovery and Driver’s License Reinstatement programs, I’ve talked with people about their housing and transportation challenges and the hardship these issues create. The arrest diversion program I have been building, a collaborative effort, has helped identify gaps in access to substance use treatment. I decided to run because I know I can make a difference in addressing some of these larger challenges facing our communities.

What is your top issue should you be elected? 

The supervisors have many roles and responsibilities, and they do not work in isolation. I plan to be involved in housing and transportation as much as possible. I also recognize that there are many issues facing our county such as economic development, mental health and disability services, aging drainage tiles, soil and water conservation, supporting farmers, rural broadband, conservation, repairing roads and bridges and more. I am committed to serving all of the residents of Story County and ensuring we are focused on the work we need to do today to lead the way tomorrow.

Republican Steve O'Rourke is running for Story County Board of Supervisors with a focus on housing.

Steve O’Rourke, Republican

AGE: 66

PLACE OF BIRTH: Dubuque, IA

PARTY: Republican

OFFICE SOUGHT: Story County Supervisor

GREW UP: Jackson County

CURRENT HOME: Ames (31 yrs)

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None

O'Rourke included his volunteer and fundraising experience:

  • Ames / Gilbert Cub / Boy Scouts: (18 yrs) Leader / Leader assist
  • Ames / Gilbert (18 yrs) basketball teams: Coach / Coach assist
  • Ames / Gilbert (18 yrs) soccer teams: Fundraising
  • Ames Meeker / Gilbert PTO (20 yrs): Chair / Member
  • Gilbert Athletic Boosters: (10 yrs) President / Member
  • Gilbert Education Foundation: (10 yrs) President / Treasurer

QUESTIONS

What made you decide to run for Story County supervisor? 

I have a broad base of knowledge from the private sector. I was raised on a farm that received awards for conservation. I have been self-employed for 40 years with a background in business, banking, construction, and public adjusting. I have worked in every town in this county and many of these people feel they are not being listened to. I met with previous supervisors, Wayne Clinton and Rick Sanders, for their input. I want to be an advocate for these towns, to make Story County BETTER, and I am working hard to win their votes.

What is your top issue should you be elected? 

Housing has always been an issue in Story County. My background in banking and construction allowed me to be introduced to a program called Neighborhood Finance Corporation (NFC). Polk County has used NFC for over 30 years to help consumers purchase or refinance homes that need a little tender loving care. The important part being these construction loans are forgivable if the homeowner lives in the home for 5 years. I want to bring this program to Story County. This program will give all of our towns a leg up as people look for a place to raise their families.

Danielle Gehr is a politics and government reporter for the Ames Tribune. She can be reached by email at dgehr@gannett.com, phone at (515) 663-6925 or on Twitter at @Dani_Gehr.

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