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Tuesday, Nov. 5 is Election Day. Across our readership area there are a number of competitive races for various municipal leadership positions. These off-year elections don’t draw a lot of attention or bring out many voters, but they are really important elections. These folks are the people who will run your community for the next few years. They’ll decide how to spend your tax money, whether or not they’ll raise your taxes and the best ways to grow – or not grow – the cities that they serve.

These are important, but usually thankless jobs. Running down the races, you’ll see that in some communities they don’t have enough people running to fill the positions that are up for election. That’s always been a problem in some of these small communities and usually what happens is somebody gets roped into serving by being the write-in candidate.

Muscatine County

In Muscatine, two city council candidates are running unopposed. They are at-large Councilman Scott Natvig and Councilman Bob Bynum, who represents the Fourth Ward. There are also two competitive races. In the Second Ward, incumbent Mark LeRette is being challenged by Michael Rehwaldt. In the Muscatine mayoral race, incumbent DeWayne Hopkins is facing a challenge by Roger Roth. So even though your councilmember may not be up for reelection you should still take the time to vote in the race for mayor.

In Conesville, the field for M=mayor is crowded. Darrell D. Bennett, Herbert J. Gratzke and Skip Kirk are all competing for the upcoming 2-year term. But for council, Conesville has one person running, Rosa L. Perez, and two open seats. In Atalissa, no one is running for mayor. They also have two city council seats up for election but only one person, Carol O’neill is running.

Fruitland has a crowded race for its three open city council seats. Five people are running to fill the posts. They are: Perry Anderson, Thomas Haynes, Rick Honts, Chad Richmond and Julie Ann Walter. For mayor, Dewayne Walter is running unopposed to serve another term. Nichols has five people running for five city council positions. They are: Russell Grim, Jamie Kirk, Kelsie Lamp, Kelly Loving and Cynthia Massey. Cyle Geertz is running for mayor of Nichols. In Stockton, Melisa Fowler is running for Mayor, Roger Bennett and David Douglas Clark are running for the two, four-year at-large city council seats, and Heidi Hafferty and Patrick Taschner are competing for the two-year at-large city council seats.

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West Liberty has two council seats up for election but only one person, Melody Russell, is running. Robert Hartman is running for mayor of West Liberty. Wilton has three people running for two four-year council seats. They are: Ted Glenney, Fred Grunder and Keith Stanley. In the two-year term at-large council seat, Wayne Budding is running, and for mayor, Ira Bowman is running for re-election. Wilton is also voting to fill two Park Board positions with two people running, Tom Breed and Don Drake.

Louisa County

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Grandview candidates Mayor Steve Schwandke and Councilmen John Montandon and Mitchell Schweitzer are all running unopposed. Letts candidates, Mayor Gerald Kirk Jr. and council members Kevin Bunch and Judi Phillips, are also running unopposed. In Morning Sun, there’s a competition for mayor with incumbent Bill Minnis facing off against Connie Malone. For the city council, incumbent Jerry Malone, Jim Hostetter and Scott Schaefer are all running unopposed. In Oakville, four people are running for three open council seats, Daniel Crow, Steve Holland, Karl Kuntz and Paige Schnell.

Wapello has two people running for mayor, Shawn Maine and Larry Wagg. Current council member at-large Kenny Marlette is running unopposed for the Second Ward seat. Also running unopposed is Eric Small for the Third Ward seat. Competing in the First Ward are Valeria Crump and Roger Dale Noble. Facing off for the open at-large seat, a two-year term, is Brett Shafer and Charles Wagg.

These folks deserve a lot of credit for wanting to serve. I’d like to say thank you to all of them. Voting comes around once a year, it takes only a few minutes and it shows that you care about the future of your community. Please, show your support by taking the time to vote.

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Steve Jameson is editor and publisher of the Muscatine Journal.

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