OTTUMWA — The city of Ottumwa has announced that nomination papers for city council and the race for mayor are now available in the city clerk's office.

This year, three city council seats — Skip Stevens, Holly Berg and Matt Dalbey — and Mayor Tom Lazio's seat are all up for re-election. The election will be held Nov. 2, with new terms beginning Jan. 3, 2022.

Citizens interested in running for those offices may obtain a candidate's guide, nomination papers and an affidavit of candidacy from the clerk's office at City Hall, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The forms are also available at the county auditor's office or from the Iowa Secretary of State's website.

To run for office, any resident of the city — whether registered to vote or not — must be 18 and not be convicted of a felony, unless pardoned by the governor, and must not be declared mentally incompetent.

Nominees for city council must obtain 45 signatures from eligible electors, and 41 signatures are required to run for mayor. Those who sign nomination papers must give their name, address (place of residence) and the date they signed the nomination paper. The number of signatures required is 2% of the total votes cast in the last preceding regular city election.

The first day to file nominations to appear on the ballot is Aug. 9, and the affidavit must be signed in the presence of a notary public. Nomination papers and the affidavit must be filed in the clerk's office no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 26.

If seven or more candidates file nomination papers for city council, then a city primary election will be necessary. There will also be a primary election if three or more candidates file nomination papers to run for mayor. The primary elections would be held Oct. 5, four weeks before the general election.

Candidates receiving contributions, making expenditures or incurring debt of more than $750 are required to file campaign finance reports with the county auditor's office.

Residents will questions about filing for candidacy in the city election can contact city clerk Christina Reinhard at 641-683-0620, or Wapello County Auditor and Commissioner of Elections Kelly Spurgeon at 641-683-0020.

Along with the timeline for filing nomination papers, the Ottumwa Leadership Academy will be hosting three free workshops pertaining to running for public office.

The first will be Wednesday at 6 p.m., focusing on "City Council 101." The second workshop will be July 28 at 6 p.m., discussing "School Board 101." The final workshop will be Aug. 4, also at 6 p.m., discussing "How to Run for Public Office 101."

All workshops will be in the Blackhawk Room at the Hotel Ottumwa. Registration is required, and attendees may take part in any or all sessions.

To register for the workshops, contact Mary Pratt at the Ottumwa Legacy Foundation at

— Chad Drury can be reached at, and on Twitter @ChadDrury


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