Who is running for Des Moines City Council, mayor? A look at the 2023 election candidates
Four seats on the Des Moines City Council are up for election this year, including the mayor, an at-large member and representatives for Ward 2 in the city's northeast side and Ward 4 in the southeast side.
It will be the first year new ward maps, approved late in 2021, go into effect.
Candidates can begin filing nomination papers to the Des Moines city clerk on Aug. 28 with a deadline of 5 p.m. Sept. 21. The election is Nov. 7.
The Des Moines Register will keep an ongoing list of candidates who declare they're running for the Des Moines City Council in 2023. To submit an announcement, email city government reporter Virginia Barreda at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here's who has announced so far:
At-large council member Connie Boesen is running for mayor to tackle the city's most "critical needs." In her campaign announcement, Boesen said if elected she would focus on livability issues, public safety, economic vitality, neighborhood redevelopment and the city's "most vulnerable" residents. Boesen was first elected to the City Council in 2017. Her at-large seat is not up for reelection this year.
Foote, a cosmetologist and activist, is running for mayor to make the city "a place for everyone." Foote, who uses they/them pronouns, said they want to make cuts to the police department budget, decriminalize marijuana, disband its special enforcement team and eliminate unmarked police cars. They also want Des Moines to open a 24/7 warming and cooling center and a "non-judgemental" shelter for homeless people and create a more pedestrian-friendly community.
City Council member Mandelbaum, who represents the city's downtown core, is throwing his hat in the ring for the city's top office. In his campaign announcement, Mandelbaum said he wants to continue implementing climate solutions, improve access to affordable housing and tackle public safety issues. He also said he wants to "invest in neighborhoods" and promote city growth. His seat is not up for reelection this year.
Ward 2 (northeast)
Botkin, an artist and food service worker, is running to represent the city's Ward 2. If elected, Botkin said she wants to address accessibility issues and food insecurity; wants to provide housing for all; and wants to have residents drive city policy as opposed to developers and business owners. Botkin grew up in the Highland Park neighborhood.
Linda Westergaard (incumbent)
Westergaard is seeking her third term as the city's Ward 2 representative. In her reelection announcement, she said she will work to ensure the city budget "eliminates unnecessary spending" and advocate for "smart growth" to bring more commercial and residential development to Des Moines. Westergaard said she wants to see improvements to aging streets and storm sewers, additional flood protection along Fourmile Creek and new sidewalks on school and DART routes.
Editor's note: RJ Miller, who previously announced a bid for the at-large seat, said he is now running for Des Moines school board.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Des Moines City Council: Who's running in November 2023 election?