UI student announces candidacy for Iowa City City Council seat

NJ Hanson, a fourth-year student, announced Tuesday his bid to win the seat currently held by Pauline Taylor.


Photo contributed by NJ Hanson

Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter


University of Iowa student NJ Hanson announced his bid for Iowa City City Council on Tuesday. 

Hanson is running for the seat currently held by Councilor Pauline Taylor, who oversees District A in southwest Iowa City. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hanson is a fourth-year student at the UI who will be graduating this month. He is majoring in political science and international relations and has worked as a Cambus driver and a student research fellow from June to July 2022.

Hanson said in a press release that he plans to include some of his experience in politics — including as a legislative aide for State Senator Janice Weiner, D-45, this year — if selected as a councilor. 

“I looked extremist legislators in the eyes as they attempted to justify child labor and the open oppression of my LGBTQ+ siblings,” Hanson wrote. “I fear for my trans friends and my future rights as a bisexual. I will not be idle while the rights and livelihoods of my neighbors and friends are under attack at home.”

RELATED: Iowa City Councilor Andrew Dunn announces re-election plans

His other experience in politics is as an activist, having been involved in different local and national political campaigns since 2019. According to the release, Hanson also created the student and worker rights advocacy student organization Hawks’ Union in 2021.

Hanson said he will use his experience in politics to help and work with the community.

“In facing an onslaught of hatred and bigotry, Iowa City needs to think big and do everything we can to cultivate a caring, inclusive, and safe community,” Hanson wrote. “Iowa City is my home. There is so much love and inspiration this community has given me, and I’d like to give even more back.”

Hanson’s announcement comes a couple of days after incumbent councilor Andrew Dunn announced his candidacy. Dunn was elected in January to the city council in a special election to fill the at-large seat left by Weiner after she was elected to the Iowa Senate.

Dunn is now seeking a full term, and stated his intention to run for fellow incumbent John Thomas’ seat after Thomas announced he would not seek reelection in April.