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Davenport 6th Ward candidates

Five candidates will take part in the Oct. 10 Davenport 6the Ward primary election. The candidates are Rich Clewell, Dale Gilmour, Ben Jobgen, Sean Liddell and Chris Webster. The top two votegetters will advance to the Nov. 7 regular election.

Voters in Davenport's 6th Ward will take center stage at the polls Tuesday.

The 6th Ward race for the Davenport City Council is the only municipal election race with five candidates on the ballot.

Rich Clewell, Dale Gilmour, Ben Jobgen, Sean Liddell and Chris Webster are vying to replace former Alderman Jeff Justin, who resigned in July after spending 10 years on the City Council.

The five candidates running for council represent a variety of different fields and come in with vastly different experiences they believe translate to representing the city.

Liddell is on the only candidate to have previously been an alderman. He served as Moline's 7th Ward alderman for five years before his move to Davenport forced his resignation.

While he has said he would reinstitute ward meetings, the IT professional also is looking to introduce other methods of communication within the ward.

Having that previous experience would help him get a running start versus the other candidates, who would be just getting their feet wet, Liddell said.

As the Emergency Medical Services coordinator for Genesis Health System and 22 years in the industry, Webster has a deeper knowledge of public safety and infrastructure capabilities than any of the candidates.

Public safety and infrastructure make up the majority of the city's budget and were highlighted as areas of importance in the city's annual survey.

While they lack public service experience, Gilmour and Jobgen were motivated to run by their belief that the 6th Ward could be represented better.

Both candidates referenced the rezoning of a Costco Wholesale site on 53rd Street as an example where the constituents concerns were not addressed.

Through his attendance at the vast majority of city meetings and interactions with state and municipals departments through his business, Gilmour believed he could best represent the the ward's residents and get them answers to their questions.

Jobgen's decision to run for office, too, was influenced by what he felt was inadequate representation for key issues.

Besides the Costco rezoning, he pointed to the rezoning of the Rhythm City Casino resort and lack of communication regarding the completion of Veterans Memorial Parkway.

A physical therapist by trade, Jobgen said the skill set correlates to that of an alderman in the need to analyze data, make a proper assessment and formulate the necessary path to improvement.

For Clewell, public service has always been in his blood, having served in the Air Force and on the Davenport Community School District board for 16 years.

His work with the school district and various other boards has provided him with numerous opportunities to participate in intergovernmental meetings and develop relationships with those currently in office.

Clewell said he agreed with the city's current vision and wanted to be a part of turning Davenport into a vibrant city, which includes strengthening its schools and attracting young talent to the area.