Halloween and Election Day …

Halloween and Election Day are just around the corner, readers.

Halloween — Oct. 31– is approximately five weeks away with Marshalltown’s “Trick or Treat Night” fittingly the same night from 5:30-7 p.m.

The former is one of my favorite holidays, I enjoy the kids coming to our house in all kinds of costumes.

An informal tally of my memory bank reveals Spiderman costumes as most popular, followed by “Star Wars” characters, witches and ghosts.

A Donahey Halloween tradition is my wife Karen’s homemade chili. When our daughters were little, I would take them out for trick-or-treating. Afterwards, we came home to Karen’s tasty chili and cornbread.

Election Day is Nov. 7.

Ten candidates for Marshalltown City Council submitted nomination papers by the 5 p.m., Sept. 21 deadlne.

City Clerk Coughenhour was busy — as four candidates waited until the last day to file vs. the first filing of 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.

A contested mayoral race features Joel Greer, a local attorney and second ward councilor, versus businessman Gary Thompson.

Thompson is associate manager at Earl May.

He previously was owner-operator of the UPS Store on Merle Hibbs Blvd.

Both are conscientious and high-energy individuals.

Greer, in the middle of his second four-year term as second ward councilor, brings six years experience in city government melded with a strong legal background.

Thompson will tout his business experience and other assets.

Another one to watch is in the first ward, where incumbent Dan Kester squares off against veteran educator Sue Cahill.

Kester is a former building contractor and currently at Marshalltown Co.

Cahill recently completed a term as president of the Marshalltown Education Association.

It will be unfortunate one will lose — both are personable, and bring a lot to the table.

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

Cedar Rapids native Brittany O’Shea was the first of the 10 candidates file, doing so on Aug. 28.

Also running is the David Shearer, who served on the council in the 1980s. Joining them is Mark Eaton, son of the late councilor Darrell Eaton, and brother to Monte Eaton.

Monte Eaton and spouse Leisha have petitioned the council since last December to sever their properties from the city.

They and others claim they are paying taxes but not receiving city services.

Much can happen between now and election day hence the saying “24 hours is a lifetime in politics.”

I’ll borrow a line from CBS Correspondent Bob Schieffer, who said his mother told him once,” Go out and vote, it will make you feel better.”

See you at the polls.

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