The ballots are set and half of the races in this year’s city election will be contested races. Receiving the most attention is the at-large city council seat with five candidates filing to run for the position. Also facing a challenger is current mayor Mike Hansen who will be opposite Ron Bookout on the November ballot.
In line for the at-large seat is current Ward 2 councilwoman Evelyn George, Garfield Berndt III, Lance Hawley, Matt Holmes and Russell Terlouw. George cited a potential move within the city behind the run for the at-large seat. She has served on the council since being was appointed to the open Ward 2 seat in December 2012 and was elected to the position in 2013.
Holmes, who is active in both Newton Little League and the Newton Girls Softball Association, announced his intention to run for the open seat in July, not long after former councilwoman Lin Chapé stepped down from the at-large seat.
“We have a great group of people on the council already and I believe I would be a great fit to continue working with those members,” Holmes said. “Let’s do what we can to move Newton forward into the future for the next generation of Newton residents.”
Berndt III previously ran as a mayoral candidate in 2015 and has since become active in city government through the Downtown Grant Review Board. He has coined the slogan “Rollin’ in a new era” for his 2017 run.
Hawley is the current executive director of Thunder Nites bike night in Newton. Terlouw, Berndt III, Holmes and Bookout all also previously put their names in for the temporary opening of the at-large seat which was filled by former council member Jeff Price.
Hansen has served as Newton’s mayor since 2012 when he took over for then-mayor Chaz Allen. He was elected to the position in 2013 and 2015 with the mayoral race taking place every two years.
Bookout said when asked why he was running for mayor that he believes an elected official that runs unopposed is not really an elected official.
“Myself and my fellow citizens are desiring major change in how the city of Newton is ran,” Bookout said. “I believe that I can bring this change.”
Also on the ballot is Dean Stonner who is running unopposed for the Ward 2 seat and incumbent councilman Steve Mullan is running unopposed for re-election to the Ward 4 position.
The election will be held Nov. 7.