Two candidates are seeking election in November to represent Davenport’s 8th Ward that covers the city’s central northern territory, as Alderwoman Kerri Tompkins is not running for another term.
The candidates are Dirk Hillard, a machinist with the Rock Island Arsenal, and Judith Lee, a self-employed environmental policy management planner and consultant. With only two candidates are running for the seat, no primary election is scheduled for that ward. The general election is Nov. 5.
Tompkins announced in early June she would not seek a fourth term, saying she wanted to spend more time with family. She has been in City Hall since 2014.
Davenport’s 8th Ward covers the north-central section of the city. Its area is largely north of 53rd Street to the city’s northern border, divided by Pine Street on the west and Jersey Ridge Road on the east.
Hillard, a first-time office-seeker, began spreading word of his candidacy on social media in June and held a campaign event earlier this month. As he seeks to join the city council, he’s pointed to his experience as an advocate for community members with disabilities. He founded the Quad Cities Deaf Club, is a commissioner with the Deaf Services Commission of Iowa and sits on the state licensing board for sign language interpreters.
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“I know the good things about living in Davenport, as well as the issues that the city faces, such as issues of public safety, infrastructure, and economic development,” Hillard said in an emailed response to an inquiry by the Quad-City Times. “My belief is that the future of Davenport belongs in the hands of it citizens, and I will listen to what the people have to say and let that guide my work as a city counselor.”
Lee filed her candidacy for the seat Wednesday after only recently arriving at the decision to run for office. She is a member of Davenport’s Zoning Board of Adjustment and runs her small business Environmental Planning Services Inc. After living in states all over the country, she moved to Davenport in 2009 and her neighborhood has become her true home, she said.
A major goal of Lee’s if elected, she said, would be integrating the needs and interests of businesses in her district with the bigger picture for the city. And as she campaigns for office, she’s looking to learn more and come up with ideas that’ll continue to make the neighborhood safe, diverse and strong.
“I feel that I could really help some folks and do a good job representing them on the city council,” she said.