Des Moines voters will go back to the polls next month to decide who will serve as mayor of the state’s largest city. Since no one earned a majority in Tuesday’s election, there will be a runoff vote on December 3 between the top two candidates: incumbent Mayor Frank Cownie and former state Sen. Jack Hatch.
After the votes were counted, Cownie (43.4 percent) held a slight lead over Hatch (42.7 percent). Former teacher Joe Grandanette (5.4 percent) and Army veteran Chase Holm (8.3 percent) also earned votes.
Hatch said the results of the election show voters want a change.
“It means that 57 percent of the people in this city wanted a change and we’re going to give them that opportunity,” Hatch said. “We’ve really done a good job with downtown Des Moines. It’s skyrocketed. But the remaining neighborhoods have actually been neglected, so we want to be able to focus on how we rebuild the economic areas of the other parts of the city.”
Cownie, who is running for a fifth term as Des Moines mayor, said he is already working on revitalizing neighborhoods with the city’s new zoning plan and new sales tax.
“All of us working together, we’re going to keep it moving forward,” Cownie said. “I mean I go to hundreds of meetings every single year to meet with citizens to know what they want and what they need. I haven’t seen my main opponent at any meetings.”
The mayor of Des Moines is a part-time position leading the city’s seven-member council.