Mayor Jim Throgmorton not running for third term

Mayor Jim Throgmorton has announced he will not seek re-election in the fall, citing health concerns and a desire to spend time with his family.


Alyson Kuennen

Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton listens as community members address complaints regarding the new benches for the Pedestrian Mall at City Hall in Iowa City on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Some community members feel that the new benches are hostile to the homeless.

caleb McCullough, News Reporter

After eight years on Iowa City’s City Council and four years as the mayor of Iowa City, Jim Throgmorton has announced he will not seek re-election in the fall.

Throgmorton’s second term on the council (this time around) will come to an end on Jan. 2, 2020. Now a UI professor emeritus, Throgmorton taught urban and regional development for 24 years.

“This has been a very hard decision for me,” Throgmorton said in a press release announcing his decision. “When running for office four years ago, I said I wanted to help lead Iowa City toward becoming a more just city. We have made great strides in that direction over the past 3+ years, and much more remains to be done. I would like to have a hand in crafting our next steps, but there are other factors I must consider.”

In an interview with The Daily Iowan, Throgmorton cited ongoing health concerns and a desire to spend more time with his family as reasons for the decision. Additionally, he said he wants to make room for more young people on the council.

“My wife is retiring, and I want to be able to spend more time with her and with my two sons and daughter and with my soon-to-be two grandchildren,” Throgmorton said.

Throgmorton has been a major advocate of climate action and affordable housing during his tenure on the council, and he was influential in the creation of the city’s Climate Action and Adaptation plan in September 2018.

In his remaining eight months as mayor, Throgmorton said, his focus will not change, and he will continue to address the issues that the city faces.

“I’m just going to keep doing the work,” Throgmorton said. “Nothing’s going to change for me. We have issues coming up. We have policies in the work. We have plans being followed.”

Throgmorton said he had heard of at least five people who plan to run for the four open City Council seats in 2019, one being Councilor John Thomas, who formally announced on he would seek re-election on April 19.

Throgmorton said he believes Councilors Rockne Cole and Pauline Taylor also intend to run for re-election.

“I’ve had long conversations with two other people who are very likely to be candidates,” Throgmorton said.

The next mayor will be chosen by the City Council when the new council convenes, Throgmorton said. An organizational meeting will be held in early January in which the council will vote to elect a member as the mayor to a two-year term.

Gustave Stewart, the city liaison for University of Iowa Student Government, said Throgmorton has been easy to work with and has always given fair consideration to student concerns.

Throgmorton was involved in the inclusionary zoning for the Riverfront Crossings District, Stewart said, which allows for increased housing density in that area and opens up more opportunities for student housing.

“He’s really accessible in the sense that I can just set up a meeting with him, talk about the various issues,” Stewart said. “He’s very willing to listen to really whatever we have to say.”

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