Conspiratorial Warren County Auditor Suspends Potential Opponent

Warren County Administrative Building/Google Maps screenshot

By Ty Rushing

June 21, 2023

Interim Warren County Auditor and 2020 election denier David Whipple placed deputy auditor and potential challenger Kim Sheets on administrative leave for 60 days, according to KNIA News. Whipple has come under intense scrutiny for sharing conspiracy theories that assert the 9/11 attacks were fake, the 2020 election was fraudulent, and QAnon material.

County auditors are responsible for overseeing local elections in their respective counties, which is why Whipple’s views on the 2020 election have become such a concern in Warren County.

Over the weekend, more than 3,400 Warren County voters signed a petition to trigger a special election in hopes of replacing Whipple after some of his past conspiracy-laden Facebook posts resurfaced. Adding fuel to the fire, Sheets is more than likely to be Whipple’s opponent in a yet-to-be-scheduled special election. 

The KNIA News story did not specify why Whipple placed Sheets on leave but that it happened after the petition to force the special election was turned in.

To trigger a special election, Warren County residents needed a petition signed by 2,409 eligible voters and it had to be turned in by Tuesday, June 20. 

The Warren County Democratic Party—with assistance from the Iowa Democratic Party and Polk County Democratic Party—was able to surpass that goal over a three-day signature drive.

Whipple, who has no experience in government, was appointed to serve as auditor by the three-member Warren County Board of Supervisors over Sheets during a special meeting on June 6. His term expires Dec. 31, 2024.

In since-deleted posts, Whipple shared various conspiracy theories about the election, QAnon, and even the 9/11 terrorist attack.

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In a text message, Whipple told the Des Moines Register “…those posts look familiar. However, in 2020, I was an American citizen not thinking about being auditor and like many American citizens I was concerned with the integrity of elections.”

Whipple, who is a Republican, has strong support from the Warren County Republican Party. The local party’s central committee unanimously passed a resolution supporting his appointment while declaring a special election would be a “waste of taxpayer dollars” on June 12.

   

by Ty Rushing
06/21/23

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  • Ty Rushing

    Ty Rushing is the Chief Political Correspondent for Iowa Starting Line. He is a trail-blazing veteran Iowa journalist, an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, and co-founder and president of the Iowa Association of Black Journalists. Send tips or story ideas to [email protected] and find him on social media @Rushthewriter.

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