Jay Wickham, of Peosta, has been chosen to fill the Dubuque County Supervisor position left vacant by the death of Tom Hancock.
Wickham is executive director of the Northeast Iowa Community College’s Small Business Development Center and director of StartUpDubuque, which seeks to foster an entrepreneurial environment by bringing resources together.
Previously, much of his local government experience was through Cartegraph. He was a co-founder of the company and served as vice president of sales and marketing. Cartegraph serves governments through software for water systems, fuel management and more. A registered Democrat, Wickham is new to public office.
“I’m ready to serve,” Wickham said, adding that learning the job is his “first priority.”
“Today is a day about figuring out how to serve,” he said.
Wickham rose to the top of a crowded field of 25 applicants interviewed last week by the three officials charged with filling the vacancy: County Auditor Denise Dolan, County Treasurer Eric Stierman and County Recorder John Murphy.
March 7, the three met to discuss their top picks. Stierman first suggested appointing former Supervisor Eric Manternach, adding that he wished to appoint an official who didn’t plan on running in the fall. “I don’t want to give anybody a leg up in the fall election,” he said.
Wickham said he is unsure of whether he will run for the seat in November.
Stierman’s motion died for lack of a second, as did a motion by Murphy to appoint Dave Baker. “He’s been in this board room more than anybody who hasn’t already been on the board,” Murphy said.
Dolan seconded Murphy’s second suggestion, Wickham. An Epworth native, Wickham said that he served as Hancock’s paperboy, while Hancock was his family’s postman. Wickham taught Hancock’s son to play tennis, and his father Tom Wickham served as Hancock’s State Senate campaign manager.
Wickham and his wife, Renae Wickham, have three children, ages 17, 16 and 15. He encouraged residents to contact him, either at firstname.lastname@example.org or 580-2230.
The three appointing officials praised those who put their name in, with Murphy saying that five or six of the candidates were “amazing.”
Murphy emphasized Hancock’s “approachable” reputation among those who worked in county government.
Dolan described Hancock as a “friend for over 20 years. He deserves a lot of thanks for the service he gave to the citizens of Dubuque County and the state,” she said, adding that he has left “big shoes to fill.”