HARTLEY—Tim Overmire wants to make a difference in government and believes doing so starts at the local level.
That’s why the 38-year-old rural Hartley resident tossed his hat in the ring for the Republican nomination to fill the open O’Brien County supervisor seat representing District 1.
Earlier this month, Overmire won the party’s vote in a special convention to be its candidate for the Dec. 7 election to fill the board of supervisors vacancy created when Sherri Bootsma resigned in October. Bootsma’s term was set to expire Dec. 31, 2024.
The deadline by which the county parties needed to nominate their candidates was Nov. 12. No candidates were selected on the Democratic side or via a no-party petition.
“I’ve always been very political. I’ve always been a very conservative Republican, and I felt this was an opportunity to make a difference,” Overmire said of his decision to pursue Bootsma’s former seat.
“I’ve always been a limited government guy, but local government is the most effective form of government.”
Overmire is a lifelong O’Brien County resident. He graduated from Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School in Hartley in 2002 and later obtained a two-year degree in agriculture from Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville.
He works as the district sales manager for Stine Seed, a seed company based in Adel. His sales area includes the four N’West Iowa counties of Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux.
Overmire and his family also run a farm at their home south of Hartley, where they grow about 300 acres of corn and soybeans and have a 2,400-head pig nursery.
“The whole family kind of works on those. It’s kind of a team deal,” he said.
He and his wife, Laurena, have four children, all of whom are students in the Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn School District.
When it comes to specific issues Overmire is seeking to help the county work through, he said a big one is the proposed Midwest Carbon Express carbon-capture pipeline by Ames-based Summit Carbon Solutions.
The hazardous liquid pipeline would cut through 33.4 miles of the county, with the proposed route running between 410th and 420th streets between Paullina and Primghar. Another pipeline would separate off that one in between Oak Hill Avenue and Olive Avenue and run south to the Little Sioux Corn Processors ethanol plant east of Marcus.
The project has not yet received approval, and a permit decision from the Iowa Utilities Board is not expected until early 2023.
Overmire did not voice approval of or opposition to the carbon pipeline project but said he wants to help the county make good decisions related to future action on it.
Otherwise, his overarching agenda should he join the board of supervisors includes making the county government as responsible as it can be and fostering more economic development.
Although he has not held government office before, Overmire pointed to his position with Stine Seed as well as previous church board memberships as experiences that could help him as a county official.
“With my current job as a district sales manager, you’re dealing with a lot of management as far as where you’re going to allocate resources and how you’re going to do your job, which for me is to grow that seed business,” Overmire said.
He also spoke about his approach to dealing with conflict and communicating with people about contentious issues — things he is encountered at his job at times and that he would doubtless have to confront as a supervisor.
He said he first tries to understand what the other person is upset about so he can assess ways to defuse the situation.
“One of my stronger qualities is I do think I listen fairly well and can understand where somebody is coming from, even though maybe I don’t agree with that position,” Overmire said.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to express my position back to them and in a manner that they can understand and we can find a middle ground that we can agree on.”