Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Champion, McCallum, Bazzell, Shipley File

Iowa City Council: Champion, McCallum, Bazzell, Shipley File

Developments in the Iowa City Council race the day before filing deadline: one expected, two not:

  • Two students get into the at large race: Jeff Shipley and Jared Bazzell filed.

    Bazzell has been involved with the James Gang community group, and Shipley is the current nonvoting "student liaison" to the city council.

    If the field stays is it is, it sets up two downtown business types (Terry Tickens and Susan Mims) vs. two students, and if all else is equal and until I learn more I'd lean towards the kids. We haven't had a student on the council since David Perret in the 70s and even he was a townie/student.

    Student campaigns have notoriously tanked in the recent past, whether from the right (John Lohman, 1997) or the left (Brian Davis, 2001; Rachel Hardesty 2003). None of them made it past the primary. But if there is no primary, we'll get to see how a student does in a city general election. Without the massive motivator of the 2007 21 bar measure, what happens to turnout?

    In my college towns in Wisconsin we had a true ward system with councils of a couple dozen members, and we always elected a student or three from an all-dorm district. Hmmm...

  • Connie Champion filed for re-election in District B. There had been retirement rumors after Mark McCallum announced his candidacy, but those didn't last long. McCallum has still not, months after announcing, opened a campaign finance committee, but he filed late Wednesday.

    Champion would be the first council member elected to a fourth term since Iowa City went to its current hybrid district/at-large system in 1975. Dee Vanderhoef tried for a fourth term in 2007 but lost.

  • If Iowa City winds up with no primary, it would be the first time since 1991 (and we had a school bond vote in October of that year anyway). But as of Tuesday afternoon University Heights, the other Johnson County city with a primary system, had two candidates for mayor and nine for five council seats. Three for mayor or 11 for council would mean a primary--and it's been at least 30 plus years since that's happened...
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