DES MOINES, Iowa — Election day is just one week away and voters from across the state will be deciding on a special election for Des Moines City Council Ward 1.

Seven total candidates filed to run: Rob Barron, Kathy Hellstern, Dennis McCullough, Rose Marie Smith, Kimberley Strope-Boggus, RJ Miller and Chris Coleman.

Coleman was an at-large member of the Des Moines City Council for nearly 22 years. He was first elected in 1999, but he’s been out of office for eight years. Coleman said he learned a lot about himself during his time out of the politics realm, and it narrows

“It’s a different job, you know, when you’re at large, you think about things differently than representing a ward,” said Coleman. “This is a chance I have to represent the neighborhoods that I was born and raised in, that I raised my family in, that I was educated in.”

Coleman said that his experience is exactly what the residents of Ward 1 need with a lack of a voice over the last two years.

“I think most people just don’t want to take a risk. They want somebody that they know can get something done. And I feel confident that I’m that person,” said Coleman. “But it takes action. Words are hollow, words are cheap. We need to get stuff done and do things for people to feel like the city government is on their side again.”

Coleman said that he wants to focus on the safety of the community, affordable housing and homelessness if elected. You can view more about Coleman’s policy ideas on his website.