Friday, September 20, 2013

End of an Era In Oxford

Don Saxton's Oxford Project portraits, looking exactly the same in 1984 and 2005.

Forget the every two years Battle of University Heights and the big fight in Coralville. Even 21 Bar Round Three is a little story. Our BIG city election news after yesterday's filing deadline is out of Oxford.

Mayor Don Saxton is not seeking re-election, stepping down after 32 consecutive years in office. The retired teacher was elected in a 1981 landslide and re-elected every two years since, only seeing opponents in 1993 and 1999 (he won by more than two to one both times).

Council member Gary Wilkinson and new candidate David Cook are looking to fill Saxton's unfillable shoes. (Wilkinson is mid-term, so if he wins there will be a council vacancy.) In the council race for two seats, incumbents Bryan Cooling and Darrell Ealy face Lorena Loomis, who lost in 2011.

In other cities (full list):

Tiffin's Royce Phillips, already announced as a legislative candidate, is running for another city council term. Phillips was mayor until losing to Steve Berner in 2011, then came back for a council special election win on the 2012 presidential ballot (replacing my boss Travis Weipert). Fellow incumbents Jim Bartels and Joan Kahler are also running for the three seats. Challengers on the ballot are Mark Petersen, who finished a respectable third out of four candidates for two seats in 2011, and new candidate Bruce Hecox. Despite the contentious 2011 race, Berner is unopposed for mayor.

Shueyville has a contested mayor's race: Markus Cannon is challenging incumbent Brian Bredman. In the council race, Pamela Larson is challenging incumbents Jerry Cada and Steve Kass for the two seats.

In Swisher, incumbents Larry Svec and Angie Hinrichs face challengers Keith Kramer and Christopher Taylor for two full-term seats. There's also a separate contest for a two year short term. Even though the appointment process nearly deadlocked and almost forced a special election earlier this year, appointee Michael Stagg is unopposed. (As I keep saying: why doesn't the law let all the candidates run in one race, and have the third place finisher get the short term?)

Lone Tree will have at least two write in winners. Incumbent Kice Brown was the only person to file for the three council seats. Incumbents Alyssa Coppinger and Helen Lemley did not file. That means either a really dull quiet election or a contentious stealth candidate fight, and my antennae weren't well tuned into Lone Tree even when I lived there. The Tree has a history of write-in winners both for city and school offices; in fact, that's how Lemley won her first term in 2005. Mayor Rick Ogren is unopposed.

Nothing to see here: Three Solon council seats, three candidates. Barring a write-in, incumbents Steve Stange and Mark Krall will be joined by newcomer Casey Grover, son of former mayor Steve Grover. Hills and North Liberty have nothing but unopposed incumbents. Looks like that North Liberty vote center will save a bit of money.

No comments: