City Council candidates show verve for November election forum

At-large City Council candidate Anne Kinzel speaks at a candidate forum hosted by the Story County League of Women Voters on Monday, Sept. 30, at City Hall.

Emelie Knobloch

Ames Mayor Ann Campbell has said this year’s election will be unlike anything we have ever seen.

Sponsored by the Story County League of Women Voters, a forum for Ames City Council and mayoral candidates happened at City Hall.

City Council candidates include Gloria Betcher and Justin Dodge running for the 1st Ward seat, Timothy Gartin for the 2nd Ward seat, Peter Orazem for the 3rd Ward seat, Chris Nelson and Victoria Szopinski for the 4th Ward seat, and Amber Corrieri and Anne Kinzel running for the at-large seat.

Campbell is the sole mayoral candidate in this year’s election. 

“I ran again hopefully offering some history and continuity,” Campbell said.

Campbell has held the title of Mayor for the city since 2006 and has been an Ames resident since 1967.

“Ames has been my home for many years, and it is a community filled with good people, great hope and tremendous promise,” she said. “It is a privilege to give back to this city by serving as mayor because I believe in its future.”

After the 2010 census, the city of Ames redistricted the city wards. But with this change, many current city council members are being placed in the same wards.

Orazem and Szopinski will be running for re-election. Orazem will be running for the 3rd Ward seat instead of the at-large seat in this year’s election.

“Ames, Iowa State and Story County are all part of the same community,” Orazem said. “We are at our best when we recognize our common interests. We will need that spirit of cooperation to face our economic challenges and to help all our community.”

Another City Council candidate is looking forward to this year’s election.

“I am excited to be here,” Kinzel said. “I have been told that my face doesn’t show excitement but this is because of my years as a lawyer building my poker face.”

This year’s election has many candidates with a tie to Iowa State.

Dodge, Garden, Nelson and Szopinski are alumni of Iowa State while candidates Orazem, Kinzel, Betcher and Szopinski work or have worked for Iowa State.

When asked how the City Council plans to increase communications with ISU students, Betcher responded by saying: “I would like to see the students brain power behind issues in Ames and utilize their fresh thoughts.”

Also Jeremy Davis, a current councilman, is seeking the Republican nomination for the state Senate instead of running for re-election this year. Democratic Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, currently has the state Senate seat.

The election will be Nov. 5 at City Hall.