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Burlington to Hold Special Election

Oct 9, 2014

A special election on Tues., Dec. 30 will be used to fill a vacancy in the Burlington City Council.

Becky Shockley stepped down in early September, less than one year into her first four-year term in office.

The four remaining members had been split on how to replace Shockley until Monday night when they voted in favor of the election. 

Mayor Shane McCampbell said he supported the election from the start. He said it's better to let the residents decide who should represent them than it is for the four remaining city council members to select someone.

“What greater way to express your voice in the Democratic process then going through the procedure of electing and having an opportunity to vote and letting the citizens decide,” said McCampbell.

He said this action by the city council also negated any petition drive to call for a special election if an appointment was made.  He said he was aware of residents who were already collecting signatures just in case.

Potential candidates have until Nov. 7 to file the necessary paperwork. McCampbell said he knows there is interest in the seat. He said it just depends on if people want to campaign.

Des Moines County Elections Coordinator Terri Johnson said a primary will be held Dec. 2 if more than two people enter the race.

McCampbell said another benefit to electing the next Burlington City Council member is continuity. He said an appointee would have to seek re-election next year, but the winner of the special election will serve until the term expires at the end of 2017.

The special election is expected to cost the city more than $10,000.