Government

Bruce Teague defeats Ann Freerks for Iowa City Council seat

Ann Freerks and Bruce Teague
Ann Freerks and Bruce Teague

IOWA CITY — Bruce Teague, a business owner and longtime Iowa City resident, has won a seat on the Iowa City Council.

In Tuesday’s special election, Teague, 42, who campaigned as an openly gay black man, defeated Ann Freerks, 51, a University of Iowa employee with almost two decades on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

His term will last through 2021.

“I honestly think that it was who I am, my personal story, I think that resonated with Iowa Citians,” Teague said. “Someone that isn’t a political person, someone that really does listen to people, and so I think that’s what they really want.”

The at-large seat became open after council member Kingsley Botchway II resigned to take a job with the Waterloo school district earlier this summer.

Unofficial results show 4,195 votes were cast, for a 9.03 percent turnout. The total was 229 more votes than were cast in the Sept. 4 primary.

In unofficial results, Teague had 2,277 votes, for 54.3 percent of the ballots cast, to Freerks’ 1,896 votes, for 45.3 percent.

Teague is the owner of Caring Hands and More, which helps clients with home health care, professional cleaning and other tasks. He said he’s also had experience in senior living facilities and hospices.

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“I think that all of us in Iowa City know someone that is marginalized, someone that needs a helping hand,” he said. “That’s what I do on a daily basis.”

After Botchway’s resignation, the City Council voted in August to hold a special election rather than appoint a replacement.

The special election and primary cost about $60,000.

Candidates faced a quick campaign, with just a week to gather nominating petitions and a month to campaign before the primary, because of the “blackout” period before and after the Nov. 6 general election.

The special primary was needed to narrow a field of five candidates to two for Tuesday’s special election.

Pending the official canvass of votes Oct. 9, Teague will join six others on the City Council: Mayor Jim Throgmorton and council members Rockne Cole, Susan Mims, Mazahir Salih, Pauline Taylor and John Thomas.

Iowa City Council members are paid $7,259.20 this fiscal year.

l Comments: (319) 339-3172; maddy.arnold@thegazette.com

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