The Daily Iowan

Freerks, Teague win special primary election for City Council seat

Ann Freerks and Bruce Teague won Tuesday's special primary election, will continue on bid for vacant city council seat.

City+Council+candidate+Bruce+Teague+stands+by+his+election+sign+at+Billy%27s+High+Hat+Diner+on+Tuesday%2C+September+4%2C+2018.+Teague+received+the+second+highest+number+of+votes+overall.
City Council candidate Bruce Teague stands by his election sign at Billy's High Hat Diner on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Teague received the second highest number of votes overall.

City Council candidate Bruce Teague stands by his election sign at Billy's High Hat Diner on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Teague received the second highest number of votes overall.

Katina Zentz

Katina Zentz

City Council candidate Bruce Teague stands by his election sign at Billy's High Hat Diner on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Teague received the second highest number of votes overall.

Kate Pixley, News Reporter

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Ann Freerks was one of two winners in Tuesday’s primary election for a vacant seat on the Iowa City City Council.

Ann Freerks and Bruce Teague won the primary special election for the Iowa City City Council seat left vacant by Kingsley Botchway. They will now continue their run for the open City Council seat in the Tuesday, Oct. 2 special election.

The primary candidates included Freerks, a 17-year member of the Iowa City Planning and Zoning Commission; Teague, an advocate for seniors and people with disabilities; Brianna Wills, executive director of Old Brick; Christine Ralston, the director of Career Services at the University of Iowa College of Law; and Ryan Hall, a UI student.

Freerks received 26.9 percent, or 1,062 votes, while Teague received 20.6 percent, or 815 votes. Ralston trailed just behind Teague at 20.2 percent, or 797 votes. Willis and Hall received 18.1 (714 votes) and 14.1 percent (558 votes) respectively.

Nearly 9 percent, or 3,964 of Iowa City’s 45,678 registered voters turned out for the election.

If elected, Freerks plans to use her 33 years of experience in Iowa City to promote diversity, advocate for accessibility on the Iowa City transportation systems, and push for affordable housing. She serves on the advisory board for “Any Given Child,” an organization that aims to connect children with arts programs.

“So grateful for everyone’s support and turning out to vote in the primary! Thanks to all the other candidates for their positive campaigns!” Freerk’s campaign said in a statement on Facebook.

Bruce Teague plans to work towards affordable housing, city accessibility for people of all physical abilities, and more educational opportunities for small-business owners. He has worked as a caretaker and an advocate for seniors and people with disabilities.

Teague hosted a watch party at Billy’s High Hat Diner on Tuesday surrounded by friends, family, and supporters as votes came in. He said he’s excited to hear what people have to say and make the changes needed for the city.

“This has been quite the process of getting to know even more people in Iowa City, and now before Oct. 2, there’s a lot of work to do, and I’m so excited,” Teague said.

Of the 45,678 registered Iowa City voters, 8.6 percent of voters participated in the election. Polls were open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Travis Weipert, Johnson County auditor, said the turnout for the primary wasn’t low, relatively speaking.

The seat on the Iowa City City Council was left open when Botchway, former city council member, resigned from his position in order to serve as the new chief officer of human resources and equity for the Waterloo Community School District in Waterloo. Botchway served as mayor pro tem on the council from 2015-2017 and was director of equity and engagement for the Iowa City School District.

City council attorney Eleanor Dilkes said in a July 19 memorandum that the Iowa City City Council had two options: appoint a new councilor or hold a special election. As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, the Johnson County Auditor’s Office estimated that the special election would cost over $30,000.

The City Council decided unanimously during a meeting on Aug. 3 to hold a special election for Botchway’s replacement.

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About the Photographer
Katina Zentz, Photo Editor
Katina Zentz is a photo editor at the DI. She is a junior at the University of Iowa and transferred from the Ringling College of Art and Design where she studied filmmaking. Katina now studies journalism and art and continues to dedicate herself to learning more about photojournalism. She started working at the DI in...
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