Younger Champion eyes council

BY EMMA WILLIS | JUNE 14, 2013 5:00 AM

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After serving for 16 years on the Iowa City City Council, Connie Champion says she will not run again in this year’s election — but another Champion could be joining the council in her absence.

“We make decisions that affect a lot of people,” said the outgoing councilor. “I think it’s time for new blood.”

Though new blood is not necessarily what Catherine Champion hopes to bring to the City Council, the daughter of the current councilor hopes to offer her own abilities in the upcoming election.

As part of the Downtown District’s Board of Directors and the owner of Catherine’s Boutique, 7 S. Dubuque St., and Cheap & Chic, 105 S. Dubuque St., Catherine Champion said she believes she is ready to take on a new opportunity.

“I feel like I’m ready,” she said. “I love being part of my community.”

Hoping to better understand and serve the community, Catherine Champion looks to her mother as a role model in her endeavor to join the council.

“I totally respect her,” Catherine Champion said. “She takes everything with humor and seriousness.”

However, Councilor Jim Throgmorton sees the family tie as a potential obstacle.

“Voters probably will wonder whether it’s good to pass a council seat to another person of the same family,” he said.

With Kingsley Botchway now added to the election and more names likely to come, there is still a long way to go before a final decision is made.

Eager to dive in, Catherine Champion is now in the beginning stages of her campaign. With her team put together, she plans to launch a fundraising campaign in the next two weeks.

“There’s going to be a big learning curve,” she said.

The general election will take place in November, when seats for District B and two of the At-Large positions — currently held by Councilors Terry Dickens and Susan Mims — will be before the voters.

Connie Champion, who has lived in Iowa City for more than 40 years, has served on the council since 1998. Her fourth term, which started in 2010, will come to a close on Jan. 2, 2014.

She represents the city’s District B.

Looking ahead to city initiatives, Connie Champion believes economic development is very important to the city’s future growth. And even though she will not be directly involved in future decisions by the City Council for very much longer, she says she’ll pay close attention.

“I will miss it,” she said. “It’s been very rewarding.”

City Councilor Rick Dobyns said he would be sad to see Champion leave the council.

“She has a great sense of the people who live in Iowa City,” he said. “… How they think and how they feel.”

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