OTTUMWA — The city council race took a while to shape up this year, but enough candidates wound up returning petitions to trigger a primary — one that will include some familiar names.
The seats occupied by Marc Roe and Victor Streeby are up for election in 2019. Both were first elected four years ago. Roe filed to run for re-election, and was the first candidate to do so. Streeby did not, which means one of the two seats will have a new member.
New may be a relative term, though. Former councilmen Bob Meyers and John Richards filed the paperwork required to run. Meyers served three terms, a total of 12 years, and left the council at the end of 2017. Richards served a term on the council, but lost his bid for re-election in 2015.
Two candidates who have not served previously are also running. Wesley Crowder and Mark Peters both filed their candidacies with the city clerk’s office prior to Thursday’s 5 p.m. deadline.
City Clerk Chris Reinhard said Ottumwa’s municipal elections have a primary if the number of candidates is more than twice the number of seats up for election. With five candidates, the filings are just enough to trigger that requirement.
It also means the ballot will not change much between the primary and the general election. Only one candidate will be trimmed at the Oct. 8 vote. The remaining four will advance to the general election, which is scheduled for Nov. 5.
There is no election for mayor this year. The 2017 election, won by Mayor Tom Lazio, was the first for which the mayor was elected to a four-year term instead of two years.