Attorney Rockne Cole announced on Wednesday evening that he will not seek reelection to his at-large seat on the Iowa City Council in the Nov. 5 election. Cole had previous said he would run for a second term.
“When deciding to run this fall, my heart told me yes, and now my head is telling me no,” Cole wrote on Facebook. “I don’t want to run a campaign half-way, and I felt that I just couldn’t devote adequate campaign time along with service, my law practice, and [sic] to my wonderful family.”
In April, Mayor Jim Throgmorton, who holds the other at-large council seat that will be on the ballot in November, said he would not run for reelection. The mayor cited health concerns and a desire to spend time with his family in his announcement.
In the 2015 election, Throgmorton and Cole, along with Pauline Taylor and John Thomas, won council seats by campaigning on progressive platforms. Taylor, who represents District A, and Thomas, who represents District C, have both announced reelection bids.
“For the remainder of my term, I will continue working hard on our climate action plan, inclusive economic growth, and ensuring that we maintain a strong foundation for many years ahead,” Cole said in his Facebook post. “I really feel that we have reached a durable community consensus about affordable housing, inclusive economic growth, and climate action that will continue well beyond my own term.”
Following Throgmorton’s announcement in April, Megan Alter, a manager in test development at ACT, and attorney Laura Bergus announced they will run as at-large candidates for the city council.
The filing period for city council candidates has not yet begun. In order to appear on the November ballot, a candidate must both an affidavit of candidacy and a nomination petition with the Johnson County Auditor’s Office, between Aug. 12 and 29. For an at-large seat, the nomination petition must have 128 signatures. (For either District A or District C, 131 signatures are required.)
If five or more candidates file for the two at-large council seats, there will be a primary election on Oct. 8.