Last minute write-in candidate, Francis Todey, throws name into race for 2nd Ward

Katelynn Mccollough

The Ames City Council election for 2nd Ward found itself with a new name in the race on Saturday.

Francis Todey, an Ames resident who has lived in the community for nearly 27 years as an engineer for the Department of Transportation, offered himself as a write-in candidate against Timothy Gartin for Tuesday’s election.

“There wasn’t a choice,” Todey said of his reason for offering his name as a write-in, “and in an election, it is nice to have an opportunity to make a choice. I feel like I’d be willing to serve if people think I am of value.”

Todey also explained that he could bring a “different perspective and voice” to the council.

Gartin, an attorney and Ames resident for 17 years, said he also felt he would bring a diversified voice to the council.

“If by diversity of perspectives he means diversity in social economic perspectives, I believe I bring that to the table,” Gartin said, who announced his candidacy during the summer. “I feel like I have a pretty good sense of where Ames is now and where we want to go.”

Gartin said that when it comes to the ISU community, he would like to see the research park double, aid in Campustown redevelopment and attract jobs to Ames that will keep ISU graduates in the community.

Todey said that if he were to win on Tuesday he would have a steep learning curve to deal with and said he currently did not have enough background on the issues of fire codes with the greek community in order to say where

he stood.

“One of the most important parts of being on any … representative group is trying to make connections with the people you represent and get a sense of their perspective on issues and say, ‘How do I represent them?’ but also, ‘How do I end up making sure we are making good decisions for the community as a whole?’” Todey said.

Todey, who served on the Ames School Board from 2006 to 2011, said he would work to find answers to issues that are “good for all sides.”

Gartin, who ran for Iowa Senate in 2010 against Herman Quirmbach, said Todey’s last minute announcement as a write-in is “unfortunate” for voters because they do not have a chance to know what Todey’s positions are.

For Todey, it is about offering the voters another choice in the election.

Todey received his undergraduate degree from Iowa State in 1974, as well as his masters in 1992. Gartin received his masters from Iowa State in 1992.