Davenport resident Alexandra Dermody has announced she is running for the alderman seat now held by mayoral candidate Mike Matson, becoming the first person to publicly declare an intention for his job with eight months to go until the municipal election.
In a post on the left-leaning politics blog Bleeding Heartland last week, Dermody described herself as an 18-year-old political newcomer who wants to address Davenport’s underfunded public schools, growing spikes in youth crime and public corruption in local government. Though Davenport’s municipal elections are nonpartisan, she says she’s running under the banner of the third-party label Alliance Party of Iowa, an organization that calls itself a mixed bag of former Independents, Democrats and Republicans.
In a statement announcing her candidacy, she also pointed to the local “housing and infrastructure crisis” as a chief area of concern.
“I plan to fight for the restoration of responsibility, honesty and integrity in our city's government and be a voice for everyone, standing up for those who've been ignored,” Dermody said in a statement Tuesday. “I will also work to find a solution to the increase in crime and thefts in the city.”
Dermody plans to begin hosting meet-and-greet events next month in the 7th Ward to hear thoughts and opinions of her neighbors as she seeks the office, according to a news release from her campaign. Former 2nd Ward Alderman George Nickolas is her campaign manager, according to the news release.
She’s also created a Facebook page promoting her bid.
Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch announced late last year he wouldn't seek a third term, setting the stage for a wide-open race for Davenport's top elected office. Alderman Matson, who has been on the city council since 2008, announced in February he would seek the job.
So far, Matson is the only candidate in a mayoral race that’s likely to become more crowded in the coming months.