Vernon joins crowded race for Cedar Rapids mayor

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- A former candidate for Congress and Lt. Governor is joining the crowded race for Cedar Rapids mayor.

Monica Vernon announced her candidacy Wednesday. Vernon was a Cedar Rapids City Council member for 8 years but left in January 2016 as she ran for Congress in Iowa's First District. Vernon lost her challenge to incumbent Rod Blum. She also lost in the 2014 election as a Lieutenant Governor candidate.

"I will bring my background as a city leader, successful small business owner and my drive to work with everyone in all corners of this community," Vernon said in a release. "I know that I can pick up right where Mayor Corbett leaves off. We have a wonderful city, with a can-do attitude and we need to keep the pedal to the metal. The best is yet to come for Cedar Rapids."

Mayor Ron Corbett announced he would not seek reelection this fall to pursue other opportunities, including a possible bid for Governor.

Vernon is the sixth candidate vying to replace Corbett. Current city council members Scott Olson and Kris Gulick, attorney Brad Hart, minister Tim Pridgeon and former police chief Gary Hinzman are also running for mayor.