MARION

Marion's former Mayor Snooks for president?

Allen 'Snooks' Bouska joins hundreds of other candidates

Then-Marion Mayor Allen “Snooks” Bouska appears at a public hearing in January 2014 at Marion City Hall. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Then-Marion Mayor Allen “Snooks” Bouska appears at a public hearing in January 2014 at Marion City Hall. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — If Mayor Pete can run, why not Mayor Snooks?

Former Marion Mayor Allen “Snooks” Bouska has joined a cast of hundreds — including South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — who are running for president in 2020.

Bouska, 73, has filed with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate for the American Independent Party.

“I wanted to differentiate myself from the Democrats,” said Bouska. Indeed, more than 160 candidates who have filed with the FEC for presidential runs are listed as Democrats.

Bouska, who now lives in Hiawatha, said Tuesday he’s “basically having some fun” by filing to be commander-in-chief. On the other hand, Bouska, who was Marion mayor from 2011 to 2015, said he has some of the same qualifications as some other candidates.

“I have a background in politics. I could be like the fellow out of Indiana. He’s a mayor. I got that,” he said. And like Buttigieg, “I was in the military, so I know military affairs.”

Unlike his mayoral colleague and many other candidates, he’s not well-funded “so it will be low-budget.” His campaign organization at this point consists of a high school student who works at his daughter’s Dairy Queen in Marion, recruited to be his national campaign chair.

All kidding aside, Bouska said there is a serious aspect to filing.

“The bottom line is, my goodness, an individual in these United States can run for president,” Bouska said. “There’s no filing fee. It’s just something someone can do. You can go out and really say something if you want to. I thought, ‘Gosh, what a country we live in to be able to run for president.’”

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After spreading the word about his filing through an email, Bouska has had calls from friends and associates.

“It’s amazing to receive a call from a reporter other than the Marion Times,” he said.

But not everyone is supportive.

“My wife just frowns,” he said.

• Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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