Longtime Davenport Alderman Mike Matson is expected to announce his candidacy for mayor Tuesday evening, a move that would make him the first to enter an open field for the city’s top elected office.
Matson, who has been in City Hall for a decade, posted on a newly created Facebook page called “Mike-for-Davenport” that he would be making a “big announcement.” That announcement is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at Modern Woodmen Park.
Matson, an Army veteran and Junior ROTC instructor with Davenport’s Central High School, began his political career representing the city’s 8th Ward in 2008. After the ward map was redrawn following the last U.S. Census, he won election to represent the 7th Ward, a position he’s held since.
A run for mayor wouldn’t be Matson’s first try for higher office.
In 2017, Matson flirted with a run for the Democratic nomination for governor, but dropped out of the race before the primary election was held. Democrat Fred Hubbell, a wealthy Des Moines businessman, won that nomination only to be defeated by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds in the general election last November.
Sitting Mayor Frank Klipsch, whose term expires in January of 2020, surprised City Hall in December when he said he would not seek reelection, saying he wants to devote more time to his family. In making the announcement nearly a year before voters will elect another mayor, Klipsch said he wanted to give his ultimate successor enough time to weigh a run.
With the next round of municipal elections still 9 months away, there’s plenty of time for other mayoral candidates to join the race. The Scott County Auditor’s office hasn’t even begun accepting nominating petitions for candidates, and filing deadlines are usually in August.