That’s what will happen in Iowa’s second largest city. Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart lost his bid for re-election. Tiffany O’Donnell, a former TV journalist and businesswoman, and Amara Andrews, an attorney and businesswoman, were the top two vote getters. Andrews edged out the incumbent mayor by a mere 24 votes, according to unofficial results. Andrews says residents are ready for new leadership after the way Hart handled the derecho.
“Most people think that everyone has recovered and that is not, in fact, the case, so there are a lot of people still struggling and they want a mayor that is going to consider them and listen to their voices and help them out,” Andrews says.
O’Donnell, the top vote-getter in yesterday’s election, says whoever wins the job of Cedar Rapids mayor needs to make unity a priority.
“Bringing people together needs to be job one. This has been an incredibly divisive campaign for a relatively small town,” O’Donnell says. “The job of mayor here is nonpartisan and I believe for us to be successful, it needs to stay that way.”
There will be a run-off election in Atlantic to replace the city’s long-term mayor Dave Jones, who has served on the city council and as mayor for the past 24 years. Tim Teig got the most votes, but didn’t reach that 50-percent-plus-one threshold. He wasn’t surprised by the outcome.
“With four people running it’s probably what was going to happen,” says Teig, a former mayor of Atlantic and who served on the city council in the 1980s.
Grace Garrett was the second place finisher and will face Teig in the November 30 run-off. Garrett says she started attending city council meetings in 2017 when she moved to Atlantic.
“I watched those involved and I decided that I wanted to be part of the community and to be a leader in the community,” she says, “and to also be a team player.”
Garrett is currently an at-large member of Atlantic’s city council.
(By Kate Payne, Iowa Public Radio/Eric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic)