The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

23-year-old middle-school teacher with a school-board election under his belt enters the race for City Council

In City Hall on June 18, 2009 at 10:49 am

Nick Duffy, who took a shot at securing a Cedar Rapids school board seat in 2006 as a 20 year old, says he is running for an at-large seat in this year’s City Council election.

Two at-large seats are being contested this year. Those two are currently held by Brian Fagan, a likely mayoral candidate, and Pat Shey.

Duffy, a lifelong Cedar Rapids resident, a 2004 Jefferson High School graduate and a Mount Mercy College graduate as well, teaches language arts at Regis Middle School.

His campaign has a logo, a Web site and news releases.

He cites flood recovery, job creation, public safety and fiscal responsibility as his top campaign issues.

“I will bring to this position a lifelong commitment to Cedar Rapids and a common sense approach to what is best for this community,” Duffy says in a news release. “We must spend taxpayer money wisely and work aggressively for a progressive and community-centered agenda.”

Duffy, of 122 12th St. NW, points to a delay in opening a police substation at 1501 First Ave. SE, calling it “another example of bureaucracy getting in the way of helping people.”

During his unsuccessful school board run in 2006, The Gazette editorial pages said of Duffy: “At just 20 years of age, Duffy is someone this town should hope to hang on to — if not as a school board member, then perhaps as a district teacher someday. The Mount Mercy education student has great passion for teaching and an idealistic approach that likely will be seasoned with the right amount of pragmatism in a few more years.”

In an interview Thursday, Duffy said of his young age that common sense and the ability to lead are the important qualifications for a candidate.

He lives in council District 5, where incumbent Justin Shields is up for reelection, but he has chosen to seek an at-large council seat rather than take on Shields. Duffy said both that he “great respect for the work” that Shields has done and that he likes the idea of seeking a council seat that represents the entire city.

Duffy is engaged to marry in November. He performed in and directed theater productions at Mount Mercy College, and this summer, he will be working with Theatre Cedar Rapids’ summer youth camp.

Duffy is the grandson of Linda Seger, 1629 Eighth St. NW, who has been among the most widely quoted Cedar Rapids flood victims in both the Cedar Rapids media and in media from elsewhere.

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  1. He would probably be better than what we have now.It’s time to get new blood on the city council and maybe younger blood who may have some good ideas.

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