Council member and mayoral prospect Monica Vernon says her jump from the Republican to Democratic Party on Tuesday has nothing to do with her plans to run or not run for mayor.
She declined to say if she was in or out of the mayoral race.
A Republican since she first registered to vote as a teenager, Vernon, 51, says she has been thinking for “a long time” about changing political parties, “and I just changed.”
At the same time, she says that the Republican Party is different than it once was and so, she says, is she.
“And as a woman, as a person who believes that we must absolutely take action and make progress here (in Cedar Rapids), being a Democrat makes more sense to me,” she says.
She adds, “I want to be true to what I am. … I want to be somewhere that’s closest to where I am. … It’s really a tough one. But I’ve got to be true to myself.”
Vernon, a business owner in her second year of a four-year council term, says she is someone who understands both Republican and Democratic parties well and is someone who has friends in both places.
City Hall elective office is non-partisan; candidates don’t run by political party. But political parties, nonetheless, play a role behind the scenes.
When Vernon was elected in 2007 to the District 2 council seat, she received the backing of both labor and business, which she says is proof that she is a person who has a history of crossing party lines.
The only declared mayoral candidate to date is Ron Corbett, vice president of trucking firm CRST Inc. and a former Republican speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives.