DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) There's one too many candidates running for a city council seat in Dubuque, so the city will hold a primary election on Tuesday, October 10 to narrow the field.
"I Voted" stickers at the City of Dubuque Elections Annex
Lou Oswald, John Pregler and Brett Shaw are all running for the Ward 1 City Council seat.
Dubuque County Deputy Auditor Jenny Hillary says the reason a primary election is being held is because Dubuque is a primary city.
The Iowa Code says individual cities are primary cities unless an ordinance is created which specifies a different way to run an election, like having a runoff.
Hillary says the same amount of work goes into preparing a primary election as for a full general election.
"We have to set the polling places up, the people to work the polling places, order ballots, have the absentee's ready, have people absentee, so the same amount of time and work as a regular city or school election," she explained.
At Large Councilman Ric Jones says his first election in 2005 involved a primary.
He said, "there were a number of people on the ballot that were seeking to unseat an incumbent who was really a decent guy."
Jones won the primary and the general election.
"I wouldn't have wanted to be in a four way race at the last minute because anything can happen," he said.
Besides taking out some of the guessing work for the candidates, Jones also believes without a primary election, the results of the general could go against what voters want.
He said, "you could end up real easily with a less qualified candidate finding the majority."
Jones believes it's better to host a primary rather than a runoff after the general election.
He says new council members have a lot of training before taking on their position in January, so it's best to know who wins on November 7 so they can get right to work in learning the ropes, and then be ready to do their job once January rolls around.
Hillary says the primary election can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000.
She won't know the exact cost until after the election.
She said, "all the bills will come to me. I will figure everything up about how much ballots cost, how much to pay the poll workers, and then I will bill the city of Dubuque sometime after the city primary once I have all the bills in."
She says a general election can cost anywhere from $24,000 to $30,000.
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