When Scott County Auditor Roxanna Moritz advised the Davenport City Council of its options for filling its vacant 3rd Ward seat, it was her impression that a number of candidates would likely line up, making an appointment likely to be challenged.
The City Council listened and approved a resolution at its May 3 committee-of-the-whole meeting calling for a special election. It turned out Moritz was right; six candidates officially filed nominating petitions for the 3rd Ward vacancy by Friday's 5 p.m. deadline.
The 3rd Ward candidates are Andrew Arnold, Barry Donald, Joe Heinrichs, Marion Meginnis, Ursula Becky Peters and Carlton Wills.
Candidates needed to obtain 20 signatures for their nominating petitions.
Because more than two candidates have filed, a primary election will be held on June 13 with the top two vote-getters advancing to the special election on July 11.
The 3rd Ward city council seat became vacant after former Alderman Bill Boom pleaded guilty on the morning of April 18 to felony federal charges of making a false declaration to a grand jury during a methamphetamine investigation in 2016.
Boom acknowledged in federal court that he twice provided false testimony.
The first time was when asked if he knew a former housemate, Gage Wenthe, used methamphetamine prior to a search of his home.
The second was when asked if he had ever given money to Joseph Allen Terry, who is currently awaiting sentencing after he pleaded guilty on charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
While Boom tendered his resignation to the City Council on April 18, Iowa Code prevents a felon from holding public office.
That left the City Council with two options: a special election or appointment.
With the 3rd Ward's voter turnout so low, Moritz said that it would take only 96 signatures to challenge an appointment.
"It is not going to be too hard to garner 96 signatures, and someone is going to do that," Moritz said. "I'm going to assume that, because it is an open seat, that it's going to be a primary election, and you'll have another election behind it."
Although the June 13 primary and July 11 general election are important dates, there are a number of other deadlines as well:
- May 22: Deadline to withdraw as primary candidate or file an objection to a candidate.
- June 9: Deadline to request absentee ballot for primary
- June 16: Deadline for primary recount request
- July 7: Deadline to request absentee ballot for regular election
- July 21: Deadline for regular election recount request
The winner of the July 11 regular election will serve out the remainder of term, which expires at the end of this year.
If the winner seeks re-election, he or she would be required to take part in the November general election.