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Cavanagh sees Dubuque full of ‘excitement, hope, and opportunity’ if elected as new mayor

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 4:24 AM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Brad Cavanagh has spent a good part of the last four months driving around Dubuque and knocking on doors.

”It has been the best part of the entire campaign,” Cavanagh said. ”We have to have people feel like they are part of the process, and that is really on me. It is one of the biggest reasons why I go out and talk to so many people.”

Cavanagh said he has knocked on thousands of doors this year, and it is all part of his quest to becoming Dubuque’s next mayor. On November 2, Dubuque voters will decide on a new mayor for the first time in more than 15 years, as incumbent mayor Roy Buol announced he would not seek re-election.

For the last two years, Cavanagh has represented Dubuque’s 4th Ward, which encompasses downtown and out to Grandview Avenue, in the city council. He said both he and the city are now ready for new leadership.

“As more and more people encouraged me to do it and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the time is actually very right for me,” Cavanagh said, on why he decided to run for mayor. “I think it is important that, when an opportunity like this comes up and when we have a need for a strong leader for the years down the road, I think it is time that leaders need to step up.”

The Dubuque native, who graduated from Hempstead High School, said he has many goals in mind if he were to become mayor. Priorities include growing downtown Dubuque, but also with a focus on the North and West ends of town, which includes plenty of the blocks and neighborhoods he already represents. He also wants to make sure people are connected to opportunities.

”We actually have opportunities that are available to people in employment, for example, but a lot of times people are missing that connection,” Cavanagh said.

Cavanagh, who grew up by Kennedy Elementary School, said, if elected, people should expect his time in office to be just like his time driving around local neighborhoods, knocking on doors, and talking to people.

“What I hope to demonstrate to people as we are going into this election is that what you just saw from me in running for mayor is what you are getting from me as mayor,” Cavanagh said. “I want to be in the community and hearing what you have to say, and I want to make sure that we build a relationship, so you know that when you have something to say you can come and talk to me.”

TV9 met with Cavanagh at the Miracle League Park, a new all-inclusive playground and baseball field. The park, he said, greatly represents the view he has for a Dubuque under his leadership.

“We are sitting at the Miracle League Park and, when I look at this place, I think about what it means to dream big,” Cavanagh said. “There was a group of people who wanted to do something extremely cool in town, and it was a really big idea and they did it and I think we can do more of that. So what I hope to see is a Dubuque where people feel like they have a voice, they know that their voice is being heard and all those voices together are creating solutions to some of the problems that we have but also dreaming big about what could be.”

Aside from serving on the Dubuque City Council, Cavanagh has served in the city’s housing commission, the Fountain of Youth’s board of directors, and as vice-chair of the Dubuque County Food Policy Council.

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