Here’s how much money the Iowa City Council candidates raised and spent



Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague has denounced the other three candidates for city council, garnering support from his constituents, family members, elected colleagues and labor organizations ahead of Tuesday’s election.

The Iowa City Council’s money race focuses as Election Day approaches. All four candidates submitted campaign finance disclosures to the Iowa Campaign Ethics and Disclosure Council’s web reporting system showing how much they raised and spent.

Teague brought in $ 7,842 from a total of 100 donors. Megan Alter, another candidate for one of two extraordinary city council seats, raised $ 6,915 from 102 donors. The third general candidate, Jason Glass, raised $ 3,865 from 50 donors. Shawn Harmsen, who runs unopposed for the District B seat, raised $ 6,259 through 106 donations.

“I think people really wanted to make sure that the campaign I was running for this community had resources,” Teague said.

Like the other candidates, a large portion of Teague’s money was spent on expenses such as mail, campaign signs, office supplies, and advertising.

Learn more about the Iowa City Council election:

Teague and Glass spend their own money on the campaign

While Teague outperformed the other contenders, Glass ended up spending more than all of his opponents put together.

In total, Glass spent $ 650 of the money he raised for his campaign, but also chose to fund campaign costs early on with $ 22,334 of his own money. By comparison, Teague, Alter, and Harmsen spent just $ 17,217 combined.

Jason Glass poses for a photo, Monday, May 3, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Glass said the campaign start-up costs, such as website creation and design, logo design and advertising, were costs he chose to bear on his own. He said he didn’t focus on fundraising during his campaign, but instead reached out in person and online with potential voters.

“I wanted to make sure I had quality material and a quality web presence and spent what I needed to do it in a reasonable way,” he said. “I am very satisfied with the quality of my website, materials, Facebook, and garden logo and signs.”

Glass’s disclosure said he spent $ 6,397 on web fees and $ 4,627 on printing fees for senders, among other campaign fees.

Glass has said that any amount of money will be a financial burden, but he is comfortable with the amount he has spent and sees it as a worthy investment to raise the issues he has talked about throughout his campaign. .

“If I had to run for something again my expenses would be much lower as a lot of that expense was on logo and website development.… All of this is done and I can use what’s already created,” did he declare.

Bruce Teague, Mayor of Iowa City, applauds during the University of Iowa Reunion Parade Friday, October 15, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Teague also loaned $ 6,488 to his own campaign. Teague said it appeared in his report as a loan because he was choosing to use his personal credit card rather than getting a card to use specifically for his campaign bank account.

“Basically, when I bought something, I bought it with my credit card,” Teague said, adding that he did the same during his first campaign for city council.

Following:Q&A: Iowa City Schools Superintendent discusses November 2 ballot metrics, where the money would go

Teague said getting a bank card for the campaign account was something his campaign treasurer, Rebecca Reedus, said they should do next time around. The money he spent on his personal credit card was refunded from the funds in his campaign account.

Harmsen and Alter both spent the majority of their campaign contributions, but neither used their own money beyond the $ 100 donation to their campaigns.

Alter, Harmsen and Teague attract support from Democrats and workers

One thing in common between Teague, Alter and Harmsen was the support they found from unions and elected officials in Johnson County and elsewhere in Iowa.

Some prominent names on the list of donors for the three candidates include all of the Johnson County supervisors except Jon Green; Deidre DeJear, candidate for governor of Des Moines; state officials Amy Nielsen, Liz Bennett and Christina Bohannan; State Senator Zach Wahls; Coralville councilor and mayoral candidate Meghann Foster; and North Liberty advisor RaQuishia Harrington.

Iowa city council candidates Shawn Harmsen, left, and Megan Alter greet each other during the University of Iowa reunion parade Friday, October 15, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa.

Glass received contributions from former Iowa City mayors Matt Hayek and John Balmer; and Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert, who is also Glass’s campaign treasurer. Glass received a letter of approval from outgoing Iowa City Councilor Susan Mims, who said he would be her only vote for city council this election.

Teague, Alter, and Harmsen also received money from Political Action Committees, primarily from the Iowa City area. PACs are associated with worker groups and unions in the region, such as the Cedar Rapids Trades Council CR IC Building Trades PAC, the Iowa City Carpenters PAC, the North Central States Carpenter PAC in Minnesota, and the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 125 Political Education Fund. .

Following:Meet the 6 candidates vying for 4 seats on the Iowa City School Board

Alter said she was happy to have received donations from many women, which she attributed to her focus on issues important to women like child care.

“The point is, women’s issues are community issues,” she said.

Alter said the donations not only helped his campaign, but also energized it.

Candidates applaud Iowa City limits on campaign contributions

Iowa City is unique in the state because it sets a limit on the amount an individual can donate to a candidate’s campaign.

Iowa City passed an ordinance in 2001, which was amended in 2003, which sets a limit of $ 100 per donor for campaigns within Iowa City limits. This does not include the Iowa City Community School District due to its political boundaries

The Iowa City Code states that no person, or any candidate or committee of candidates, will solicit or accept a contribution that will make more than the full amount relating to a single election for or against such candidate will exceed $ 100.

Iowa City Attorney Eric Goers said the law is being enforced as a municipal offense. For the first offense, there is a fine of $ 100. The second violation results in a fine of $ 250. The third offense and all subsequent offenses are punishable by a fine of $ 500.

Shawn Harmsen is a candidate for District B of the Iowa City Council, which represents the eastern part of the city.  If elected, Harmsen will replace longtime councilor Susan Mims who has decided not to run again.

Harmsen said he believed the limit prevented applicants from raising exorbitant sums from a small number of sources.

“I’m just happy to live in a community that actually has a donation limit for campaign funding,” Harmsen said.

Teague said he believes the rule allows ordinary people to have more opportunities to be a part of the process and to have equal influence as a PAC or a larger donor.

Following:Coralville and North Liberty are about to have new mayors. Here is an overview of the main candidates.

George Shillcock is the Press-Citizen local government and development reporter covering Iowa City and Johnson County. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @ShillcockGeorge


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