Tuesday’s Special Election Could Mean Big Changes in Madrid

MADRID, Iowa  --  Anger over potentially losing the city's police chief is expected to drive Madrid residents to the polls on Tuesday.

The special election will be Madrid's first in more than 20 years and could result in a new mayor and new direction for the community. City leaders hope Tuesday's election will help calm emotions in the small town.

Madrid's mayor resigned in April, a council member did the same earlier this month, and last week the interim mayor, Kurt Kruse, tried and failed to fire Madrid’s police chief. Kruse says he'll try again if he wins on Tuesday.

“I stand firmly behind the fact that I do not believe Mr. Tasler is the right person for police chief of this town," Kruse said.

Two other mayoral candidates, Jonathan Whitten and Tom Brown, declined an interview and declined to say whether they would keep Chief Tasler on the job.

“He is the longest standing police officer we have had, he has done that good in this community," Madrid resident Dustin Dalton said.

Tasler and Madrid P.D. are also named in two federal lawsuits alleging excessive use of force. The city settled one for $50,000 and the other is still in litigation.

If Tasler is fired, Madrid could lose its police department, and the Boone County Sheriff's deputies will step in to patrol the town. Regardless, all three of the candidates hope to unify an otherwise politically-divided city.

The Boone County Auditor says this election could cost the city at most $2,000. In order to save money, instead of counting ballots electronically they will be counted by hand.

Polls will be open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.