Special election will decide Sheumaker’s replacement, Des Moines City Council votes — and the first candidate has already declared

A voter fills out their ballot in the 2022 primary election at the Senior Center in Iowa City, June 7. – Adria Carpenter/Little Village

The Des Moines City Council voted unanimously on Monday to fill its vacant Ward 1 post by means of a special election. The seat has been officially empty since Aug. 31, when Councilmember Indira Sheumaker resigned after six months of unexplained absences from board meetings.

There was no discussion before the vote during the council’s regular formal meeting.

Although the special election could have been scheduled separately from the city and school board election on Tuesday, Nov. 7, the council chose to add the Ward 1 election to that day’s ballot.

Any Ward 1 resident interested in running has until the end of day on Thursday, Sept. 21 to fill the necessary paperwork with the Polk County Auditor’s Office. The seat already has one declared candidate, after Kimberley Strope-Boggus announced she’s running on Monday afternoon.

“I’ve been present in Ward 1 in a variety of capacities over the years, and now I want to step off the sidelines and bring my vision of responsible growth, affordability, and sustainability to Des Moines City Council,” Strope-Boggus said in a news release.

On her campaign site, Strope-Boggus describes herself as a “mother of four, wife, volunteer, and activist.” Strope-Boggus has been active in a number of community organizations, such as the Beaverdale Neighborhood Association, as well as local government boards like the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Executive Board and the Des Moines Public Schools Improvement Advisory Committee. Strope-Boggus has also been active in Iowa Democratic politics, and has previously served as the board chair for the Northwest Des Moines Democrats.

“My wife and I chose to raise our children here,” Stope-Boggus said in her statement on Monday. “For us, diversity, equity, and inclusion are not simply talking points, they’re our way of life. We are raising our children here in the hopes that Des Moines will remain a welcoming city where future generations will want to raise their families.”

Along with the Ward 1 seat, the city council seats in Ward 2 and Ward 4, as well as an at-large council seat, will be on the Nov. 7 ballot. Voters will also be choosing the next mayor of Des Moines in the election.

This story originally appeared in LV Daily, Little Village’s Monday-Friday email newsletter. Sign up to have it delivered for free to your inbox.