Perennial City Hall candidate P.T. Larson is back for his 13th straight attempt at winning a seat on the City Council. He’s had little success to date.
This time Larson is running for mayor, which he has done three times before. He lost twice to former Mayor Paul Pate and once to former Mayor Larry Serbousek.
The 52-year-old’s name has varied during elections depending on the competition. He ran as Paul T. Larson against Pate and as P. Thomas Larson in 2007 against incumbent at-large council member Tom Podzimek. He says he’s chosen P.T. this time because most people recognize that name best and because no Pauls or Thomases are in this year’s field.
Larson will be going up against council member Brian Fagan, 37, and Ron Corbett, 48, vice president at trucking firm CRST International Inc.
Larson, of 225 29th St. Dr. SE, Apt. E-11, says he is running because he believes he is the candidate who can deliver on his two top priorities — public safety and public infrastructure.
He says public safety in the city was an issue 20 years ago and 10 years ago when he ran for City Council, and it will drive this year’s vote.
As for infrastructure, he says it’s time for the city to take care of the “chronic issues” of bad streets and sidewalks so the public doesn’t have to spend its time calling city offices with little result.
Larson says no candidate brings his attention to detail to city issues. He says he has a strong ability to listen and communicate with the public.
He notes that Corbett is a former Republican state legislator and that Fagan once worked on the staff of former Rep. Jim Leach, a Republican. Larson calls himself “completely non-partisan” seeking a non-partisan city office.
He works for ACT in Iowa City as a “floating project worker” and lives with his wife, Marilyn. He grew up in Fort Dodge and has a bachelor’s degree in speech and theater from Bemidji State University.
Cedar Rapids elections do not have primaries before the Nov. 3 vote. But there are runoff elections in December in races in which no candidate wins a majority plus one vote. Larson predicts a runoff in the mayoral race.