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Cedar Rapids mayor race gets a famous name added by a former candidate

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The fourth candidate who filed paperwork to run for Cedar Rapids mayor is a familiar face but with a different, famous name.

The Linn County Auditor reported Myra Colby Bradwell filed paperwork to run for Cedar Rapids mayor ahead of Thursday’s filing deadline. Bradwell is formerly known as Gregory Hughes, who ran an unsuccessful bid for Cedar Rapids mayor in 2013 by losing to Ron Corbet 67% to 32%.

Greg Hughes in a 2013 photo during an unsuccessful bid for Cedar Rapids mayor.
Greg Hughes in a 2013 photo during an unsuccessful bid for Cedar Rapids mayor.(Greg Hughes campaign)

Myra Colby Bradwell is the name of a publisher and famous women’s rights activist from the 1800s. Bradwell attempted to become the first woman admitted to the Illinois bar in 1869 but was rejected because she was married. But her case led to reforms in gender discrimination in hiring and eventually she was admitted to the bar in 1890.

Women's Rights activist and publisher Mary Colby Bradwell.
Women's Rights activist and publisher Mary Colby Bradwell.(Womens Hall of Fame)

In filing for a name change, then Gregory Hughes said he had studied Bradwell and felt “a deep kindred spirit” with her and wanted to continue her spirit.

In the filing, Bradwell (formerly Hughes), identified himself as both White and Indian but added Black, citing “an older black couple who call me their son”.

Bradwell joins three other candidates for Cedar Rapids mayor on November’s ballot: the current mayor, an attorney, Brad Hart; businesswoman and community leader Amara Andrews and former TV anchor and CEO of Iowa Women Lead Change Tiffany O’Donnell.

Calls to Bradwell for comment on his candidacy were not answered late Thursday evening.

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