So it begins.
Former City Council member Jerry McGrane was first in Monday, the first day that candidates for the council can file nomination papers with the City Clerk. The filing period ends Sept. 19.
McGrane, who served as a council member in the District 3 council district from 2006 through 2009, is running to win one of two at-large council seats on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Voters also are voting for four additional seats on the nine-member council: for mayor and the council seats for District 1, 3 and 5.
A total of six candidates have said they are running to win one of the two at-large council seats on the ballot.
The six are incumbent Chuck Swore, 70, who runs his own business consulting firm and is retired vice president and general manager at Acme Electric; Anthony Brown, 29, a staff member with Diversity Focus; Carletta Knox-Seymour, 59, a small-business owner and City Planning Commission member; McGrane, 72, former president of the Oakhill Jackson Neighborhood Association; Ralph Russell, 66, retired former president/CEO of engineering firm HR Green Inc.; and Susie Weinacht, 50, part-time manager for RWDSU-UFCW Local 110 and part-time executive director of the Iowa PTA.
At-large incumbent Don Karr is not seeking re-election, he said last week.
Incumbents Mayor Ron Corbett and council members Kris Gulick, District 1, Pat Shey, District 3, and Justin Shields, District 5, are all seeking re-election.
Council seats held by Monica Vernon, District 2, Scott Olson, District 4, and Ann Poe, at-large, will be on the 2015 ballot.
The second-place finisher in the two at-large races this year will win a one-time, two-year term rather than a four-year term so that four of the nine council seats are up for a vote in 2015. The change will better balance how the elections are staggered for the nine council seats.
To run for the Cedar Rapids City Council this year, candidates for mayor need 471 nomination signatures, at-large candidates, 340, and those in District 1, 85, District 3, 80, and District 5, 63.
The numbers represent 2 percent of those who voted for the particular office in the most recent city election in which the office was contested.
In Marion, at-large candidates need 215 signatures while those in Ward 2 need seven signatures and those in Ward 4 need six based on the 2-percent requirement.
City candidates in smaller cities in Linn County have signature requirements based on city population. Hiawatha and Mount Vernon candidates need 25 signatures and all other smaller cities’ candidates need 10 signatures, according to the Linn County Auditor’s Office.
McGrane said Monday he secured about 465 signatures at public events and by “shaking hands and talking to people.”