A southeast Iowa businessman has won the special election for the state senate seat Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa held until she resigned to become a member of the U.S. House.

Forty-seven-year-old Adrian Dickey, a Republican from Packwood, won by a 10.5 point margin. Once he’s sworn in, Republicans will have a 32-seat majority in the Iowa Senate.

“This whole campaign has been 18 days so that alone it a bit of an oddity, but I felt really, really confident going into Sunday,” Dickey told Radio Iowa this evening. “I probably made 3000 phone calls, maybe knocked on 1000 doors.”

But the snow storm made him nervous, as Republicans tend to vote on the day of an election.

“I just greatly appreciate the voters in the district turning out. I mean it was awful, awful weather and so many roads were snowed in,” Dickey said. “…I’m completely humbled and truly amazed by the will of the people who showed up.”

Dickey is president of Dickey Transport, a refrigerated trucking firm his grandfather started in 1959.

“I’m very blessed to have an amazing family,” Dickey said. “…We’re all very proud to have roughly 100 employees that we provide a good living and a good income to.”

Dickey has been a volunteer fire fighter in Packwood for 29 years and he is proposing that the $100 state tax credit for volunteer fire fighters be increased to a $1000 to help cover expenses.

“One of the things that’s been very important to me in this campaign is thanking these heroes, thanking these people and putting them at the first of the first of the line for a change,” Dickey said.

Dickey is likely to be sworn in as a state senator the week of February 8, after unofficial election results are certified by county and state officials. He’ll represent state senate district 41, which includes the cities of Ottumwa, Fairfield and Bloomfield and covers most of Wapello and Jefferson Counties, plus all of Davis and Van Buren Counties.

Mary Stewart, the Democratic candidate in the district, was the dean of academic services at Indian Hills Community College when she retired after 30 years at the school. Unofficial results show Stewart got 4074 votes compared to Dickey’s 5040.