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Eight candidates for CR Mayor try to stand out

{ }Eight candidates for Cedar Rapids mayor attended a public safety forum Wednesday evening at Scottish Rite Temple

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) - Eight candidates for mayor made their pitch Wednesday night as local police and fire unions sponsored a forum at Scottish Rite Temple. About 100 people listened as those at the front table answered questions on everything from youth gun violence, to safety concerns at subsidized housing units. It’s the largest collection of candidates anyone there can recall in recent memory. They range from current members of the city council to former candidates for congress, an attorney and a minister. Some say the biggest challenge will be standing out from the crowd with just more than three weeks until election day.

Scott Olson says with so many on the panel it takes 20 minutes just for everyone to respond to a single question. He’s begun writing a blog to explain his views more in depth to supporters. Kris Gulick says he’s encouraging voters to do their homework and seek out more information on where the candidates stand on the important issues.

Ashley Van Orny says she attended the forum as both a concerned citizen and someone who hopes to work with the new mayor. She’s running for the 5th ward city council seat and says voters are telling her they want a strong leader to take over for Ron Corbett, who has chosen not to run for another term, “ They want someone who is very much present in the community, not just showing up, but involved. I think they want somebody who is willing to address the hard issues, address affordable housing, address flood protection. Tonight we’re here for a public safety forum, I want to hear how some issues play into public safety. We need to be concerned about the heroin epidemic, we need to be concerned about how some of the school closures might affect the makeup of our neighborhoods.”

Some voters, as well as some candidates at the forum say with eight people running for mayor, they would not be at all surprised if a runoff is required following the November 7th election.

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