Editor’s Note: We asked the two Democratic candidates for Benton County Supervisor, Ed Sass and Scott Hepker, to share their thoughts on the position and issues the county faces. Below, in his own words, is Sass’s response. The Primary Election is Tuesday, June 5.

My name is Ed Sass and I am seeking the office of Benton County Supervisor, District 1. I am a lifelong resident of Benton County and Shellsburg, Iowa. I live on the Makin’ Bacon Farm located a mile south of Shellsburg. My wife, Nancy and I, have been married for 15 years. We have two boys, Donny and Tommy and I am the son of Rose Sass and the late Elmer Sass. I have two sisters, Sandra Beatty (Larry) and Delaine Kreutner (Rick) both of Shellsburg. I still live on the family farm and I am honored to raise my children on the same farm on which I grew up.

I graduated from Shellsburg High School in 1979. After graduation, I attended Kirkwood Community College and helped my dad on our farm until he retired in 1979; at which time I continued farming until 2002. Due to personal reasons, I gave up farming to pursue other interests. Farming will always be my passion and I miss it greatly. Currently, we rent out the land to my sister and brother-in-law, Sandra and Larry Beatty. It feels good to know it is still in the family. Even though I am no longer farming, I still keep close tabs on the farming community which I care deeply about. Currently I work for TCC Materials (Twin City Concrete) located in Vinton, Iowa.

I served on the Shellsburg FFA Advisory Committee, Benton County Extension Council, and the Benton County Pork Producers Board. I was a 25 year member of the Shellsburg Lions Club and a 5 year volunteer for the Shellsburg Fire Department. I’m a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church in Shellsburg. I was a member of the Iowa Tractor Pulling Association, National Tractor Pullers Association and Outlaw Tractor Pullers Inc., where I served on the rules committee.

I served two terms as Benton County Supervisor, District 1, from 1995-2002. I also served on many committees when I was supervisor, which include… Abbe Mental Health, North Benton Ambulance, Benton County Emergency Management, Eastern Iowa Tourism, Job Training Partners Act CEO, REAP, Benton County Conservation and an alternate for East Central Iowa Council of Government.

If elected, here are some of my goals: Stay on top of the budget to keep from raising taxes, work with our cities to keep our landfill open. (It would be quite costly to the county to have our garbage shipped to other sites.) I would also like to bring new businesses to the county. We have I380 and Highway 30 becoming four lanes and it should make the county more attractive. New business brings new jobs to keep our youth close to home with better economic conditions.

Finally, my main goal is to listen to the citizens of Benton County, to hear their concerns and issues and point them in the right direction. The community may not always agree or understand why decisions are made, but I will show reasons and take the time to explain it them. I want them to have a better understanding of decisions made by the board. If elected, I can also guarantee that I will not vacate the position of supervisor prematurely – I refuse to leave the board and voters hanging.

I’m running because I care very much for Benton County and want to be part of it to keep it one of the best counties in Iowa. I want to work with Benton Development Group to bring in more businesses and industries to Benton County to keep our economics growing so our youth have jobs and can stay right here in Benton County. I’m coming with experience and desire to keep Benton County Number 1 in Iowa. This is my family’s home and your family’s home and I want to keep it safe with the best interest for Benton County.

Thank-you for giving me this opportunity to tell you about myself and letting me express my views. Your vote will be appreciated.

To read about Scott Hepker, check out the story here.