Keokuk, IA – Keokuk residents will go to the polls, Tuesday, to decide a pair of races. The Nov. 3 city election was not enough to settle two races in Keokuk.
A candidate had to receive 50% + 1 vote to be declared the winner of a race. That did not happen in the contests for Keokuk Mayor and Keokuk Alderman At-Large.
The race for mayor features two political newcomers. Chuck Betts and Tom Marion are looking to replace Dave Gudgel, who is stepping down after 8 years in office.
Betts touts his management experience while Marion says his time as city attorney and assistant city attorney prepares him for the post. The two men agree that the biggest challenges facing Keokuk involve job creation, infrastructure, and dilapidated structures.
Marion says infrastructure improvements are key to job creation. Betts says the city should focus on small businesses and lean industries, keeping an eye out for large industries.
Betts also says he would look into a surcharge for dilapidated downtown structures to encourage owners to fix up their properties. Marion says he would continue to push for tougher ordinances and enforcement.
The pair are split on the hiring of a city administrator. Betts says the city should utilize one while Marion opposes it at this time.
The other race is for a seat on the Keokuk City Council. Mark Hoyt was named an alderman at large in June 2008 but chose not to keep the seat.
Another pair of political newcomers earned a spot on the run-off ballot after finishing in the top two on Nov. 3. Lonnie McCarty and Dan Winn both say they are ready to serve all of the residents of Keokuk.
McCarty says his priority would be job creation, even if he has to personally make the calls to get an industry to come to Keokuk. Winn says he would push for a split focus on large industries and small businesses.
Both men say the city should enforce current laws regarding dilapidated buildings and that Keokuk does not need a city administrator at this time.
The winner of this race will take his seat on the council immediately.
November 3 results among run-off participants
Tom Marion - 40%
Chuck Betts - 28%
Lonnie McCarty - 38%
Dan Winn - 36%