Tiffany O’Donnell won a landslide victory in the runoff election for mayor of Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, becoming the third woman elected mayor of Cedar Rapids. O’Donnell, CEO of the nonprofit Women Lead Change and a former news anchor at CBS 2/Fox 28 in Cedar Rapids, received 13,479 votes, which was 68 percent of the total votes cast, according to unofficial results from the Linn County Auditor’s Office.
O’Donnell’s opponent in the runoff, businesswoman and community leader Amara Andrews, received 32 percent, or 6,358 votes.
“There is an optimism, and it’s palpable,” O’Donnell told supporters at a celebration at Lucky’s on 16th following the election results. “And I feel really fortunate, if I can be the person that can shepherd that and shepherd Cedar Rapids to new heights? I look forward to that.”
O’Donnell had gone into the runoff as a heavy favorite to win. In the general election on Nov. 2, she finished first with 42 percent of the vote. She also had the endorsement of incumbent Mayor Brad Hart, who finished 41 votes behind Andrews in the general election. And although Andrews was the most successful fundraiser in the run-up to the Nov. 2 election, O’Donnell outraised her, $64,520 to $20,262, according to campaign finance disclosure documents filed on Monday.
Speaking to KCRG on Wednesday morning, O’Donnell named infrastructure as a top priority.
“I want to make sure we’re being transparent about whose roads are getting fixed and when they’re getting fixed,” she said. “Do we have a point person for derecho [recovery efforts] to make sure that people are taken care of post-derecho? And also, I want to make sure that we are front-of-line with our state and federal legislators as it relates to flood protection.”
O’Donnell said she interpreted her decisive victory as an indication that her campaign message “of optimism, and hope, and energy and possibility was heard and resonated.”
The Linn County Board of Supervisors will certify the results of the runoff election on Thursday. O’Donnell will be sworn in as mayor of Cedar Rapids on Jan. 1, 2022.