Meet John Stuelke

Democratic Candidate for Linn County Supervisor

38 Years of Service to Linn County (and counting!)


John was born and raised in Marion, Iowa and attended Marion public schools until graduating from Marion High School in 1980. He also holds a degree in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University. He first volunteered with the Marion Police Department his senior year of high school as a reserve officer, and from 1982 on worked with the Linn County Sheriff's Office.

John was one of the first of two K9 handlers for the Sheriff's Office, partnering with Chabo, a Belgian Malinois. Chabo was the only explosive detection dog in the state at the time. He also was used for tracking missing persons and protected John while on duty.

Over a career spanning 38 years, John worked his way up through the ranks. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1997, Lieutenant in 2000, and Captain in 2002.

In 2009, John was selected by incoming Sheriff Brian Gardner to be his Chief Deputy - second in command. He oversaw the daily operations of the Sheriff's Office until June of 2020 when he retired after 40 years in law enforcement.


Dedicated to Family and Community


John and his wife Lesia have been married for 28 years. They have two children from their marriage and three from John’s first marriage, resulting in a wonderful and large blended family. Three of their children and a son-in-law have served in the U.S. military (Air Force and Marine Corps) their oldest daughter continues to serve with the U.S. Air Force in Colorado Springs and their youngest is currently on active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps stationed at Okinawa.

Beyond his work in law enforcement, John has served his family's home town of Center Point Iowa as a City Councilman for over 20 years, as Mayor for 4, and currently serves as a Councilman and Mayor Pro Tempore. He was also Chief of the volunteer fire department for 2 years.

While working for the Sheriff’s Office, John served on the Linn County Chaplaincy Board that coordinated spiritual guidance to inmates at the Linn County Jail, was a member of the Linn County DECAT Board and the Early Childhood Iowa Board.

He currently volunteers through his church and for Meals on Wheels.



John in uniform with his daughter Megan (United States Air Force) and son Sean (United States Marine Corps).



John's daughter Megan with her husband Shayne, who is a retiree from the Air Force.



John and his wife Lesia with their son Jon, who is currently stationed in Okinawa with the United States Marine Corps.



John working to distribute food and essential supplies during the aftermath of the 2020 derecho that hit Linn County and the surrounding area.