“Core Four” Slate Dominates City Council Elections

Sonali Durham, Executive Editor

The Iowa City City Council Elections, which were held yesterday, filled four open seats from a two-slate field. Two at-large seats, as well as one each from districts A and C, were on the ballot. The eight contenders ran in slates of four. Rockne Cole, Jim Throgmorton, Pauline Taylor and John Thomas formed the Core Four, the more progressive slate. All four won seats. Tim Conroy, Mitchell Payne, Rick Dobyns and Scott McDonough loosely formed another informal slate.

Although party-like slates are not a formal part of the local election process, they appeared both in the recent school board elections as well as the November 3 contest.

“It’s kind of been a new thing. We had the Hoover people in the school board, and we had this group. We’ve had people who have jointly run, but this is kind of a bigger group now, lately,” social studies teacher John Burkle said. “The idea of coattails: people who vote for me are going to vote for this guy, too, and maybe we can get our agenda through. If we only vote two in, instead of four, we’re not going to get anything done.”

Cole, Throgmorton, Taylor and Thomas — the Core Four — each led in their respective divisions from the outset, according to the Johnson County Auditor’s Twitter. Absentee votes continued to arrive today, but they did not affect the final results. Voter turnout was around 13%, which is close to the median for Johnson County in yesterday’s election.