Jami Larson re-elected to Ward 2

Anthony Capps

The candidate without an opponent celebrated his win at home with only his wife present.

Incumbent Councilman Jami Larson ran uncontested for his spot in Ames’ 2nd Ward.

He spent the evening at home with his wife instead of throwing a party. Larson said people take the election for granted when a person runs uncontested and believe it to be an easy win.

“A lot of people think that, if you run uncontested, that it’s easy. While that part of it was, the bad part is that if you’re not debating with someone, it’s hard to get your message out,” Larson said. “I think I had a core message to tell the community, but it’s harder to do without a debate format.”

Larson also talked about some of the other challenges he faced running unopposed.

“It’s hard to rally your supporters to get out and help you spread the word on your message,” he said.

Larson said he thought he was successful in his campaign.

“It was also about getting the voters out, because that was part of my message,” he said.

Larson said the voter turnout of his ward, which was more than the city average, was good to him and made the campaign feel like a real success.

“The supporters get out and vote, but the silent majority stay home, and that may be what it’s like when you only have about a 12 percent voter turnout,” Larson said.

“I feel good that I’ve got the supporters out in the 2nd Ward. I just wish I could have helped in some of the other wards.”

Larson is an ISU alumnus who enjoyed the city during his time in school and decided to stay after he graduated.

He said he wants the city to concentrate on keeping students here after they graduate.

“They leave because they don’t have opportunities for good jobs that relate to the ISU Research Park and the small business development center in helping create jobs for young people, and I would hope to continue to work on efforts to have an economy that is welcoming to students, that, who wanted to stay like I did,” Larson said.

He said he would also like to see Campustown receive more attention.

“Campustown has a lot more to provide than fun entertainment for students of Ames over the next four years,” he said

Larson said he was disturbed that the only places of entertainment were focused on the bars.

Larson said the city now needs to work on services in town.

“We need more social services in town without raising taxes,” he said.

“We have to make sure it’s viable with the overbuilding of apartments in town and the vacant properties here in town.”

Larson said he wants to work on controlling the city budget because of the expenses the city has.

“I was really glad that Jami took a very active approach to this election, even though he was unopposed,” said Larson’s wife, Teresa.

“I believe that he could talk about issues that he wanted to discuss,” she said.

Teresa said it was good to have the forums for the candidates who were still unopposed.

Jami has been an Ames resident since 1970.

He participated in the creation of the Ames Economic Development Commission’s Community Investment Fund, which pushes for creating technology-oriented jobs in Ames.

He has been a member of the Ames Planning and Zoning Commission since 2004 and is currently on the Make Ames Better committee.

Jami is an administrator of the Ames Seed Capitol Fund and Community Investment Fund and a consultant for area businesses and ISU researchers in commerce in the Iowa Small Business Development Center.