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Local teen runs for Coralville mayor

BY JULIA DAVIS | SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 5:00 AM

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While most politicians have professional careers to balance along with their public service, one candidate running for the Coralville mayoral position has to juggle his political life with high-school exams and homework assignments.

Eighteen-year-old Logan Strabala filed papers to officially run for mayor last week and will be on the ballot for the Nov. 5 election. Strabala is the youngest mayoral candidate in Coralville history.

However, he is not intimidated by the title and views his young age as a benefit.

“I think it’s an advantage, because I’m more open to suggestions,” he said. “I feel like I’m more in touch with the community than other people, and I feel like I talk to more people on an average daily basis than [the other candidates] do.”

A teenager running for municipal office is rare but has occurred in Iowa before, according to the Iowa League of Cities. In 2005, 18-year-old Sam Juhl, a high-school student, was elected mayor of the small town of Roland, Iowa.

Strabala decided to run after he became frustrated with fellow candidates, current City Councilor John Lundell and local attorney Matt Adam.

“He said that he didn’t want to change anything, and he wanted to be just like the current mayor, and I don’t really like the way that the current mayor is doing things now,” Strabala said about Lundell.

Strabala also said he has little respect for Adam, the other candidate. 

“He is a lawyer, and I don’t really trust lawyers that much,” he said. “I don’t think he’d be able to do a good job running Coralville.”

As mayor, Strabala would be faced with Coralville’s $279 million debt situation, currently the third highest among Iowa cities. He plans to address this issue by implementing less spending and focusing on infrastructure as opposed to expanding the government’s role in private businesses.

“I feel like it’s not the government’s job to be in that kind of business,” he said. “It should be left to the private sector.”

Current Mayor Jim Fausett said he believes that if Strabala is qualified for the job, his age should not be a factor in influencing how people vote.

“As far as the young man being only 18 years old, that doesn’t bother me, because I think some people at 18 are very capable to make the same decisions that anyone older would make, as long as they have the background,” he said. “So I would just say, as long as he has the background, then more power to him.”

Strabala’s campaign motto is “A Vote for Me is a Vote for You.”

“I work at Hy-Vee, and that’s where [most] people do their shopping in Coralville, and so I figured if you’re voting for me I’ll be more interested in your opinions, and I’ll be able to listen to you more, so it’ll also be a vote for you,” he said.


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