City Council candidate rallies for student support

Bryna Greenlaw

Talking over a loudspeaker to students passing by the Campanile Monday afternoon, Ames City Council candidate Matt Denner attempted to stir interest in his campaign.

William Rock, senior in agricultural business and GSB senator, introduced Denner. Rock said Denner’s election to the city council would help give students a voice and prevent students from being “kicked around” by the city of Ames. Voting for Denner would be beneficial to students because, with the election of a student to City Council, “We gain not only a voice, but we gain power,” Rock said.

Contrary to the belief some students hold that their votes don’t matter, individual students can make a difference by voting for Denner, he said.

“Twenty seven thousand votes can make 27,000 differences,” Rock said.

About a dozen students gathered around Denner, senior in political science, as he spoke of the need for affordable housing, clean air and attracting jobs for the educated class in Ames.

“We all need to get together and vote,” Denner said, “Whether we want [Ames] to grow with us or we want it to grow against us is our choice.”

After the speech, volunteers for Denner’s campaign passed out fliers, gave students the opportunity to register to vote and sold gingerbread cookies and t-shirts featuring Denner’s likeness.

Denner said he’s planning more rallies in the weeks before the election to gain greater student interest in his campaign. He said the energy of his campaign, demonstrated by events such as Monday’s rally, gives him an advantage over his competitors in the fourth ward. Despite attracting only a small crowd, Denner remains upbeat about his campaign.

“I consider anytime where I get to talk to students a success,” he said.

Denner also said he believes a “silent majority” of students have already decided to vote for him, yet didn’t attend the rally. Talking to several students, Denner said he discovered opinion may be in his favor.

“There are a lot of folks who are excited about getting a student on Council and have already made the decision to vote for me,” Denner said.

He said speaking to students directly helps his campaign.

“It only takes a second to hear that [students are] voting for me,” Denner said, “It’s actually a pleasant surprise.”

Jessica Riedl, senior in mechanical engineering, attended the rally after seeing it advertised in the Memorial Union. Riedl said of the three student candidates for City Council, Denner is the best suited to the job.

“Matt’s been around this community more,” Riedl said, “He’s more passionate than the other candidates.”

Riedl said the addition of a student to the Ames City Council is necessary, no matter who the candidate.

“Whether they do a good job or not, we need student representation,” Riedl said.