DES MOINES, Iowa — With the November election less than three weeks away, and Mayor Frank Cownie announcing he won’t seek reelection, Des Moines voters will elect a new leader for the first time in two decades.
Two councilmembers are running to be Des Moines’ next mayor and three city councilmembers, Joe Gatto, Carl Voss, and Linda Westergaard, are throwing their support behind one of their own — At Large Councilmember Connie Boesen.
On Wednesday Connie Boesen told WHO 13 she’s grateful for their support.
“I’m grateful to have the support of my colleagues on the Des Moines City Council,” Boesen said. “I’ve always tried to bring people together, listen to council members and the public, and find solutions that make Des Moines stronger. When we work together, I know we can improve public safety, support our public schools, and grow our economy. We need a mayor who believes in collaboration and who has the experience to lead the city forward.”
Ward Four Councilmemeber Joe Gatto shared why he and his fellow council members are putting their support behind her.
“I think it sends a pretty clear message, all three of us have worked with them, they both came in at the same time,” Gatto said. “I just think it sends a clear message that we feel like she would be a better leader to lead us now, at the time that we are in. This isn’t a personal thing against councilmember Mandelbaum, I think he would be better suited at the state, federal, or even the governors seat with some of his views and some of the things he wants to accomplish.”
Ward Three Councilmember Josh Mandelbaum, who is also running to be mayor, shared a statement with WHO 13 In response to his fellow councilmembers decision to endorse Boesen.
“Changing the status quo can be uncomfortable, but it is necessary,” Mandelbaum said. “My colleagues on the council have been slow to embrace change. It’s time for a new generation of leadership that understands the urgency of protecting our rights, standing up for our schools, and addressing climate change. If we don’t take on the tough issues and do everything we can, we can’t create a community that works for everyone.”