IC, UI officials donate to IC city council campaigns


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University, local, and state officials are all putting their hands in this year's Iowa City City Council race in the way of donations.

Candidates Matt Hayek, Rick Dobyns, and Raj Patel all received donations from elected leaders or university officials.

Hayek's support from local leaders far surpassed that of any other candidate, with donations from City Councilors Mike Wright and Connie Champion, Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan, Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, and Rep. Vicki Lensing, D-Iowa City.

"I know that Matt Hayek has been a good member of City Council [because] I have served with him the past four years," Wright said.

Dobyns also received a donation from Wright, as well as a donation from Johnson County Supervisor Sally Stutsman.

Both Hayek and Dobyns received contributions from UI Vice President of Student Services Tom Rocklin.

"I think [Hayek and Dobyns] would make fine city councilors," said Rocklin, who ventured into city politics last year to campaign in favor of the 21-ordinance. "[They] would contribute to the future of Iowa City."

Hayek raised more than $12,000 — the most of any of the candidates.

Patel received support from Johnson County Supervisor Janelle Rettig.

"I find Raj to be thoughtful, studious, and a very hard worker," Rettig said. "I think that's exactly what you want in a City Council member — someone who will study hard, listen to a lot of different opinions."

But some candidates chose to take a different route and refrained from requesting monetary donations.

One candidate, Steve Soboroff, said he does not wish to "buy" a City Council seat.

"I got into this thing because the community's been real good to me, but if they don't want me, I'm certainly not going to buy my way in," Soboroff said. "If they want me … they'll elect me … I'm certainly not gonna spend a ton of money to get a $5,000 [per year] job."

Soboroff paid for his campaign with personal funds on a budget of just $500.

Jarrett Mitchell, another candidate, said he did not want to make his campaign about raising money.

"My constituents have a hard enough time paying their own bills," Mitchell said. "I didn't feel it was responsible of me to ask for donations."

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