CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids man who came up short in a bid for mayor in 2017 has announced his candidacy for City Council.
Jorel Robinson, 31, who is an employee at GoDaddy and a community advocate, is seeking an at-large seat, which has a four-year term. He is vowing to “stay in the fight.”
“I can do this by listening to the people of Cedar Rapids openly and honestly with the goal of creating a more exciting, safe, and economically thriving community that doesn’t lose the feel of being a ‘small town,’” Robinson said on his Facebook page.
Robinson has been unavailable for an interview.
Robinson had previously been one of eight candidates vying for mayor, a seat which Brad Hart won.
On his campaign Facebook page, Robinson, who was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, described the challenges growing up in a biracial family while his father spent time in prison and his single mother raised six children while working full time as a nurse.
“Growing up, I experienced what, sadly, many more kids than we like to think have also experienced,” the page states. “Real life everyday struggle!”
Robinson is involved in the Big Bang Foundation, which is a group dedicated to helping at-risk youth. A recent project has been Lights on Cedar Rapids in which McKinley Middle School was kept open late into the evening to provide programming for children in response to a wave of violence. “There are many villages within this beautiful city helping with our youth, our elderly, and our veterans truly helps take some stress off the middle class,” Robinson said in announcing his campaign. “I will do everything I can to make an impact in our community through real work and effort.”
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Two of the three at-large seats are on the ballot. Incumbent Ann Poe, union leader Pat Loeffler, and conservative activist Gage West also have announced their candidacies. Incumbent Susie Weinacht announced she will not seek reelection.
The filing period to run is Aug. 26 to Sept. 19. Voter preregistration deadline is Oct. 25, and the election will be Nov. 5.
In Cedar Rapids, when two seats are on the ballot in an at-large race, a candidate must receive at least 25 percent of the vote to win without a runoff. The part-time council position pays $18,391 annually.
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