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Starks, Ladehoff on ballot for first ward election

The candidate filing period for the first ward special election is closed and two candidates have thrown their names in for the city council seat.

Raymond Starks and Mike Ladehoff will vie for the first ward city council position, a spot previously held by Sue Cahill.

To file for candidacy, candidates needed to submit an application with the county auditor’s office with at least 25 signatures from residents of the first ward.

Starks has been serving in the position for less than a month after being appointed by the city council in December. After his appointment, a petition was filed carrying 54 signatures to trigger a special election. Only 30 signatures were required to put the wheels in motion.

Starks will continue to serve on the council, including in its regular meeting on Monday, at least until the election on Feb. 16. Only first ward residents are eligible to vote in the election. Polls will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. The last day for voting absentee in person is Feb. 12.

The seat will be up for election again in the fall.

Starks said after being appointed to the position he still expected a special election would happen.

“One of the first considerations was — do I have the ability to run this campaign. The answer was, ‘yes,'” Starks said.

Ladehoff also interviewed for the position along with Starks and Shari Cougenhour in November. He was an at-large council member from 1997-2001.

“I would represent ward one well because I’m pretty typical of ward one,” he said. “Blue collar. I’ve lived here for, I think, 37 years. Both of our children went to Woodbury. It would be an honor to serve.”

Ladehoff said gathering signatures for his application was an easy process.

“I know a lot of people in ward one,” he said.

Starks took gathering signatures as an opportunity to meet more people in his ward.

“The reason I would be best for this position is I have a vision of what the city needs. I came to this community and got involved and chose this community,” Starks said. “It’s important to have people on the council that represent the interest of the town growing into the future.”

With the election set, both candidates will begin their short window of campaigning.

“We’re not sitting on our haunches. We plan on doing some door knocking,” Ladehoff said. “We have signs ordered. I’m going to contact people and let them know what I’m about. A special election in February is pretty tough to get people out.”

Absentee ballots can be applied for online or picked up at the Marshall County Auditor’s Office. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the auditor’s office by Friday, Feb. 5 at 5 p.m.

ABSENTEE BALLOTS

Absentee ballots are available at the Marshall County Auditor’s Office, located on the second floor of Great Western Bank, 11, N. First Avenue, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday. An absentee ballot may also be requested after completing an application form. To request an application for call 641-754-6302 or visit https://sos.iowa.gov/elections/electioninfo/absenteeinfo.html

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Contact Joe Fisher at 641-753-6611 or jfisher@timesrepublican.com

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