News conferences apparently don’t work well here for City Council races, including the mayoral race.
Even so, mayoral challenger Greg Hughes, who has run unsuccessful, long-odds campaigns for Congress and governor, gave it a shot on Monday afternoon outside of City Hall.
About a dozen people, including District 1 council candidate Ajai Dittmar, District 3 council candidate Alan Modracek and one reporter, were on hand to listen.
Hughes told the group that he was running a grass-roots campaign, could use volunteer help and wasn’t about to spend $100,000 on a campaign for the part-time, $30,000-plus-a-year job as mayor.
Hughes said he was opposed to the Nov. 5 ballot measure to extend the city’s local-option sales tax, saying once you get another tax it never goes away.
"No new taxes. We need to freeze things where they are at," he said.
Hughes, a longtime Quaker Co. plant employee, called Mayor Ron Corbett "a flip flopper" who couldn’t decide if he was a Republican or a Democrat. Hughes has run for Congress and governor with no major-party affiliation.
He said the city "would be foolish" not to try to seek and use federal money to help the city, but he said local communities need to be "respectful" of how they use the money. The new federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids was too costly and grand, he said.
Hughes, 56, of 1202 36th St. SE, has been an accomplished Tae Kwon Do instructor, and he said he planned to bring martial arts champion Bill "Superfoot" Wallace to Cedar Rapids to help promote his mayoral candidacy later in October.
Hughes is driving around town in a pickup with a big campaign sign: "Tell Politicians, Stop Wasting Billions. Stop Raising Taxes. Time to Kick Corbett Out."