Iowa City attorney Laura Bergus announces bid for City Council

With years of experience in local government and community engagement, attorney Laura Bergus hopes to bring a unique perspective to the City Council.


Contributed photo of Laura Bergus

Caleb McCullough, News Reporter

The growing pool of Iowa City City Council candidates gained another contender Tuesday, with Iowa City attorney Laura Bergus announcing her campaign for an at-large seat on Twitter this morning.

Bergus is an owner and managing partner at Hayek, Moreland, Smith & Bergus, LLP in Iowa City, and she has performed pro-bono services defending clients against creditors, according to her campaign website.

Bergus said in a news release her extensive career in local government has prepared her to launch her campaign.

“I am ready to take my turn serving the community,” she said. “I have been interested in local government for a very very long time.”

RELATED: Megan Alter announces bid for Iowa City City Council seat 

She has worked in different roles in both Iowa City and North Liberty, including serving nine years on Iowa City’s telecommunications commission.

Affordable housing, transportation, and economic development as some of the issues Bergus targeted as the most important to her. She said she’s interested in working on policy to help keep the city on track in its economic development goals.

“Along with the Climate Action Plan and all of the social initiatives that the city has prioritized in the last few years, we’re doing things and planning things that require our tax base to keep growing, so that we can pay for good progressive initiatives,” she said.

Bergus has lived her whole life in Iowa City, and she said that provides her a unique perspective from some of the other candidates running for the council. After graduating from City High, she attended the University of Iowa as an undergraduate, and then returned to the College of Law.

Bergus hopes that her campaign, and her potential term on the council, can help bring people of differing views together in the city.

“I consider myself to be someone who can build consensus,” she said. “And I’m really keen on collaborating and helping people see all sides of an issue and look at how we can all benefit, even if we’re not coming from exactly the same place.”

Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton announced last week that he would not run for a third term in the election this fall. His term will come to an end on Jan. 2, 2020. City Councilor At-Large Rockne Cole’s term will end at the same time. Cole has not yet made an announcement about running for re-election.

Both Bergus and Megan Alter, a member of the board of directors for the Iowa Women’s Foundation and a manager of test development at ACT, will run for at-large seats.

Iowa City Councilor John Thomas, whose term is also up in January, will seek re-election for his seat representing District C. District seats are elected by their respective districts, while at-large seats are elected by the entire city.