Ten file for mayor & council

City election is Nov. 7

Ten candidates for Marshalltown City Council submitted nomination papers to City Clerk Shari Coughenour by the 5 p.m. Thursday deadline.

Coughenhour was busy as four candidates waited until the last day to file vs. the first filing on Aug. 28.

All will face voters on Nov. 7, who will go to the polls to elect a mayor, two at-large councilors, a first ward and third ward councilor.

The only uncontested race is in the third ward, as no one filed to oppose incumbent Mike Gowdy. He is seeking his second term. All winners will serve four-year terms.


Two candidates, Joel Greer and Gary Thompson filed for mayor.

Greer, a Spencer native, is an attorney and partner at local law firm Cartwright, Druker & Ryden.

He is two years into his second, four-year term as second ward councilor.

Greer said he started thinking about running for mayor earlier this year, when Mayor Jim Lowrance announced he would not seek re-election.

That was followed by a request to Greer from former Mayor and Lennox General Manager Tommy Thompson he run for mayor.

Greer also sought counsel from spouse and law partner Sharon Greer before moving forward.

“My wife and I have a deal, we don’t do something like this without the other one’s approval, he said. “Sharon said I would be good at it, and she would not stand in my way.”

Gary Thompson (no relation to Tommy Thompson) announced his interest in the top spot in April.

He is the former owner of the UPS Store on Merle Hibbs Boulevard, and currently an associate manager at the local Earl May store.

Thompson had sought an appointment from the council in April to fill the first ward seat left vacant by the death of Bob Schubert. However, the council selected local businessman Dan Kester. Gary Thompson said then he was passionate about public service and would run for mayor if not selected for Schubert’s seat.

Two At-Large Seats

Five candidates, including two incumbents and three challengers, make a crowded field. Incumbent Bethany Wirin is seeking her fourth-four year term, and is also Mayor Pro Tem, meaning she fills in when Mayor Lowrance is not available. Incumbent Bill Martin is seeking his second four-year term.

The first to file on Aug. 28 was Brittany O’Shea. She is making a second run at public service. She was unsuccessful iast year for an appointment to a vacant Marshalltown Community School District board seat. Also running is the Rev. David Shearer, who served on the council in the 1980s. He also vied for the appointment to fill Schubert’s seat. Joining them is Mark Eaton, son of the late councilor Darrell Eaton.

First Ward

When councilor Kester submitted his nomination papers, he followed through on a pledge to run for election if appointed by the council at a special April meeting. He was selected by a 5-1 vote, beating out eight others.

He will serve out Schubert’s term through Dec. 31.

“I see the city facing more and more challenges, especially in setting budget priorities and balancing the budget in the years ahead,” Kester said during the interview. He is a 1985 Marshalltown HIgh School graduate and employed at Marshalltown Co.

If elected in November, Kester will serve four years.

Kester will face-off against challenger Sue Cahill, a veteran educator in the Marshalltown Community School District.

Cahill, like Gary Thompson, sought the first ward appointment. Cahill has been active in a wide-variety of community betterment initiatives. She recently served as president of the Marshalltown Education Association.

The Process

It was unclear how many residents took out nomination papers since one could download or pick up the required paperwork from numerous sources.

All candidates has to obtain 25 eligible signatures of voters. Individuals signing nomination petitions had to be a resident of the appropriate ward and eligible to vote for the candidate, but not necessarily a registered voter.

Nomination papers are available for public inspection.

Objections to the qualifications of candidates and the legal sufficiency of nomination papers may be filed until Sept. 26.

Candidates elected will take office Jan. 1, 2018.

The mayor is paid $7,000, and councilors $3,000, both annually.

For more information, contact 641-754-5799, or visit ci.marshalltown.ia.us.


Contact Mike Donahey at 641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com