Friday, September 18, 2009

Johnson County's Other Cities

Johnson County's Other City Elections

Thursday was filing deadline in most Johnson County cities. We've already looked at the upcoming city elections in Iowa City and an unusually hot University Heights because they have earlier deadlines because of primaries (which almost happened for the first time since before God in UHeights).

Here's what's up across the county:

In general, council races are contested and mayors are not. There will be a couple of new mayors, with council incumbents stepping up a notch.

Coralville has a six candidate field for three council seats. Incumbents Tom Gill, Henry Herwig and John Lundell face challengers Chad Chase, Bill Hoeft and Laurie Goodrich. Mayor Jim Fausett is unopposed.

North Liberty will have one open council seat out of two as incumbent (and ex-Grassley staffer) James Wozniak steps down. Gerry Kuhl is seeking re-election and three new candidates fill out the field: David Grex, Brian Wayson and Jonathan Waller. The mayor's race looks quiet with Tom Salm unopposed for re-election and 2005 write-in winner Dave Franker no longer in the state.

Hills may not be as hot as two years ago, when a defeated water referendum drove record turnout. But they still have four contenders for two council seats. Rachel Ramirez and Deanna Emerson are challenging incumbents Tim Kemp and Thomas Kirkpatrick. Johnson County's other Mayor Bailey, Russ, is unopposed.

Lone Tree will have a new mayor as Eldon Slaughter steps down and Rick Ogren looks to move up from the council. Stealth watch: Lone Tree had a big write-in effort in 2005 and in this year's school election. In the race for three council seats, incumbents Helen Lemley (a 2005 write in contender) and Carl Kice Brown (a great guy who took my campaign photos back in 1996) are looking for another term. They're joined on the ballot by Todd Hayes, another past write in candidate, and first-timer Alysa Coppinger.

Oxford sees mayor Don Saxton unopposed for a 15th (!) term, and the two council seats are also uncontested (incumbent Darrell Ealy and new candidate Bryan Cooling). One of my favorite things about The Oxford Project, which photographed dozens of Oxford residents 20 years apart, is that the two pictures of Saxton look almost identical--and he was mayor the whole time.

Shueyville will see a write-in winner with only four candidates for five seats. Council member Jerry Cada is moving up to mayor unopposed. Incumbents Bryan Bredman, Mickey Coonfare and Steve Kass and newcomer Jennifer Winter are competing for a vote total; this is Shueyville's transitional year to go to a four year term that voters approved in 2007. The top two candidates get four years, the other three get two years.

Solon is the quietest of all: three seats, three candidates, three incumbents.

Swisher has an unbalanced cycle since voting to switch to four year terms in 2001. The mayor and three council members are up in 2007 and 2011, and only two council seats are up this year. Incumbent Larry Svec and new candidate Angie Hinrichs are the only candidates.

Tiffin has five people running for three seats. Incumbents Chris Ball and Jim Bartels are both running (one seat is vacant since John Wright moved out of town). The new candidates are Brian Benest, Michael Ritchie and Travis Weipert. Mayor Royce Phillips, who knocked off long time incumbent Glenn Potter two years ago, is unopposed.

These mere lists don't tell the real story. This blogger will do his best to keep you up to date on whatever dramas emerge...

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