John T. Pregler and Brett Shaw will face off in the Nov. 7 city elections for the chance to represent Dubuque’s Ward 1.
They were the highest vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election. Lou Oswald, the third candidate for the Dubuque City Council seat, was eliminated from contention.
Shaw, 36, received the most votes, earning support from 359 voters throughout five city precincts, according to unofficial results. Shaw is an information technology portfolio manager at John Deere Dubuque Works.
He aims to use his business and financial experience to help city leaders manage future investments to build upon Dubuque’s strengths as an historic river town.
While he understands criticism surrounding city borrowing, Shaw believes it was a prudent investment that took advantage of historically low interest rates to revamp and revitalize overburdened infrastructure and the city’s flood-prone North End.
“We are very aligned with the vision the city has laid out,” Shaw said. “We are very proud of what the City of Dubuque has done, and we want to continue to press for that, and to press to do it in a fiscally responsible manner.”
Shaw said his other priorities will be a focus on economic development and industrial park expansion, public safety and promoting expanded arts, culture and recreation offerings to attract and retain a skilled workforce.
Pregler, 49, received 237 votes. He is a senior consultant with Data Transfer Solutions in Orlando, Fla.
He hopes to bring his 20-plus years of experience working as a consultant with local, state and federal governments to help city leaders plan and build for the future.
Pregler said it is time to build a new fire station to provide quicker response times to Dubuque’s growing south and west ends. The city has not built a fire station since 1979.
He also wants to focus on increasing mobility and transportation options for “seniors, youth and low-income people,” and making Kennedy Road, Northwest Arterial and Dodge Street more walkable and pedestrian friendly.
“And I do believe that we need to be careful with city finances,” Pregler said. “We do need to bring our debt under control, which I’ve spent a career helping agencies do. So I’d like to focus on that for our critical services before we start spending more money in other areas,” such as Chaplain Schmitt Island and the South Port area.
Oswald, 59, an account executive at Complete Office, earned 86 votes.
This was Oswald’s fifth campaign for City Council, which included a short-lived run in 1999; he eventually withdrew over a residency misunderstanding. Oswald also ran unsuccessfully for City Council in 2001, 2005 and 2007.
“My priorities of safety, education and transportation, I really thought, would ring through and bring more votes, obviously, than I received,” Oswald said. “But, if we all stay focused and remain optimistic, Dubuque will become a world destination.”
The Ward 1 seat is one of several that will be decided Nov. 7. Also up for grabs will be the Ward 3 seat, an at-large seat and the office of mayor.
Because three candidates filed for the Ward 1 seat, a primary election was needed to winnow the field to two. Incumbent Kevin Lynch opted against a re-election campaign.
A total of 686 Ward 1 residents cast ballots. The voter turnout was slightly less than 6.3 percent, according to the Dubuque County website.