The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Mazahir Salih and Josh Moe win At-Large Iowa City City Council seats

District C Councilor Andrew Dunn also kept his uncontested seat.
Sahithi Shankaiahgari
Mazahir Salih smiles at her watch party at fix! Coffee on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. Salih was reelected to her seat on the city council after receiving the highest number of votes.

Iowa City voters chose former Mayor Pro Tem Mazahir Salih and newcomer Josh Moe on Tuesday to fill the contested Iowa City City Council At-Large seats. Current District C Councilor Andrew Dunn also kept his seat in an uncontested election.

Sailh and Moe won, but Salih had the most votes with 6,089, Moe received 5,909 votes, and candidate Mandi Remington lost with 4,473 votes, according to unofficial results.

Salih pulled the majority of votes after only two months of candidacy and Moe pulled in the second most votes with his reputation in the community.

Remington raised a total of $2,934 during the entirety of her campaign, according to campaign disclosure reports filed before the general election. Moe raised a total of $12,520 in total contributions and Salih raised a total of $7,785, according to their campaign disclosure reports.

Mazahir Salih

With a little over 30 attendees, the excitement and intimacy of the affair was palpable. Loved ones, friends, and other members of the Sudanese community surrounded Salih as they waited in anticipation of the day’s results.

Overlapping chatter in both Arabic and English flooded the room. As the attendees buzzed with anticipation, Mazahir was surrounded by her friends and family.

After beginning her campaign two months ago, Salih said she was nervous coming into election day. Salih and her campaign went to forums, posted on social media, and even went door to door to promote her campaign.

Emily Harkin, a University of Iowa third-year student and Salih’s campaign manager discussed the process of heading Salih’s campaign and advocating for workers’ rights as well as economic development for all.

“She is a great candidate who has an amazing background, story, and outlook on life,” Harkin said. “I want to continue to make her time as council member even better if she will have me.”

Salih said she is very passionate about affordable housing, transportation, and economic development. In her former position as mayor pro tem, Salih increased the affordable housing fund from $600,000 to $1 million.

“We really need to focus on affordable housing and increasing shelter, this is a crisis and everybody is talking about it,” Salih said.

Johnson County Supervisor Royceann Porter, in attendance at Salih’s watch party, voiced a similar opinion on affordable housing and has been working with Salih on this topic for many years.

“We are looking out for the people who are underrepresented who look like us,” Porter said.

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague, also in attendance, expressed his support for Salih after publicly announcing his endorsement of her, as well as discussing what she will bring to the council.

“She is the perfect person for our community because she has the spirit of unity and the human rights element,” Teague said. “She would go to the ends of the earth to ensure that everybody in our community has equal opportunity and we rise together.”

Salih has been involved in various local organizations, most recently including her prior role as executive director and co-founder of the Center for Worker Justice. Salih also has experience on the city council, serving from 2018-21, and spent time as mayor pro tem from 2020-21.

During her campaign and her time on the council, Salih advocated for economic development, affordable housing, transportation, and racial equity and inclusion.

“I believe in listening to the people and that the creative solution always comes from the people,” Salih said.

In her time as a councilor, Salih said she will be working hard with the community grassroots and is dedicated and passionate about bringing her experienced leadership into the position.

“Whether they are born here or have come from halfway across the globe, I want to improve it so everybody in this community can call home,” Salih said.

Josh Moe

Josh Moe said his primary focus will be on building affordable housing and maintaining vibrant neighborhoods, as well as the local economy.

“My campaign strategy was to listen to people who have been here and understand what their concerns are,” Moe said.

Teague endorsed Moe as well and Moe said he looks forward to working with Teague in the future.

Additionally, Moe expressed how he looks forward to working with Salih on the council, particularly when it comes to housing.

Moe is a local architect who also has been involved in various volunteer organizations. Moe said he planned to use the skills and knowledge from his professional and personal experiences to further Iowa City’s development and equity goals.

His key policies focus on accessibility, inclusivity, climate action, wise public infrastructure investments, and improving public transit.

Remington to seek further public office following loss

Remington lost to Moe and Salih on Tuesday only garnering 27 percent of the vote, with 4,473 votes, according to unofficial results.

Remington was with about a dozen supporters at Deadwood Tavern on the Ped Mall in Iowa City as they awaited the results on Tuesday night.

The mood remained lively, as results rolled in, despite Remington losing the race to Salih and Moe.

Remington said she wouldn’t let the loss in this election stop her from pursuing further public office. Despite her disappointment over her loss, Remington was appreciative of the more than 4,000 Iowa City residents who voted for her.

“Considering the barriers that we were up against, I think that shows that we are on the right path, we’re doing the right work,” Remington said. “I’m not going anywhere, there’s a lot of work to be done.”

While Remington lost the race she managed to garner more than 4,000 votes, after being far outspent by the eventual winners of the race.

“I’ve been focusing on issues that matter to our community and my message of being somebody who understands what it’s like to struggle in our community and wants to prioritize reducing that struggle for everybody resonates with the people that live here,” Remington said.

Remington is a long-time Iowa City resident who has been involved in the city government through her role as a member of the city’s Community Police Review Board. She was appointed to the board by the city council in 2020.

Remington centered her campaign around the issues of affordable housing, child care, and equitable access to community resources.

District C seat

Councilor Andrew Dunn ran uncontested for Councilor John Thomas’ District C seat. In April, Thomas announced he would not be running for reelection after his term expires at the end of this year.

Dunn was appointed to the Iowa City City Council in January to finish former councilor Janice Weiner’s term after she left the council when she was elected to the state Senate.

In his brief time on the council, Dunn focused on the issues of government transparency, affordable housing, racial justice, and good faith development.

Before his time on the council, Dunn volunteered for various political campaigns, including former U.S. President Barack Obama. In 2021, he unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Iowa House for District 85.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Liam Halawith
Liam Halawith, Politics Editor
Liam Halawith is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Public Policy. Before his role as Politics Editor Liam was a politics reporter for the DI. Outside of the DI Liam has interned at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Southeast Iowa Union. This is his second year working for the DI.
Shreya Reddy
Shreya Reddy, News Reporter
Shreya Reddy is a freshman at the University of Iowa. Coming from a small town in Kansas, Shreya is double majoring in English and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. Before coming to the Daily Iowan, she has written for her neighborhood magazine and her schools literary magazine as well as writing an investigative journalism piece.