Secretary of Ag race breakdown
Instead of listing the counties that voted for Northey, here are the ones that voted for O'Brien, according to the Secretary of State's website (note: unofficial results at this time):
Black Hawk Butler Cerro Gordo
Chickasaw Clinton Des Moines
Dubuque Howard Jackson
Jefferson Johnson Lee
Muscatine Polk Poweshiek
Scott Story Tama
I see two clusters, plus some major cities. The first cluster is in NE Iowa: Butler, Chickasaw, Howard, Jackson, Winneshiek. The other cluster is in SE Iowa: Des Moines, Lee, Muscatine, Wapello (yellow-dog Democrats, maybe?).
The cities are Black Hawk (Waterloo), Cerro Gordo (Mason City), Clinton (Clinton), Dubuque (Dubuque), Johnson (Iowa City), Polk (Des Moines), Scott (Davenport), Story (Ames), and then Poweshiek and Tama being close by to large cities. Jefferson, occupied by Fairfield, is occupied heavily by the Maharishi group.
There were some close calls: Allamakee in NE Iowa went Northey by 4 votes, Buchanan went Northey by 34 votes, Fayette to Northey by 29 votes - again, in that NE Iowa cluster. A big blow out for O'Brien was Sioux Co, which went 10,148 to 1519 in favor of Northey. Sioux also happens to have a very large livestock concentration, including hogs, beef, dairy, and poultry. Livestock is very important to Sioux residents, and O'Brien's focus on local control probably didn't win many points there.
Now that the race is over, Bill can get down to being chief administrator of such mundane things like horse and dog shows, weights and measures, and feed analysis. Such is the majority of the job of the SOA.