CEDAR FALLS — Rob Green defeated Cedar Falls businessperson LeaAnn Saul in a landslide to win an at-large Cedar Falls City Council seat in a runoff election Tuesday.
Unofficial totals show Green with 2,901 votes, or 70.5 percent, and Saul with 1,212 votes, or 29.5 percent. Green carried every precinct of the city in a 14 percent turnout.
WAVERLY — It wasn’t much of a contest this time.
Green, a University of Northern Iowa Rod Library employee and former president of the Overman Park Neighborhood Association, will succeed Nick Taiber, who did not seek re-election. Green and Saul were thrown into a runoff after neither gained a majority in a three-way race in the Nov. 7 municipal election.
Unofficial totals show Green gained nearly 800 votes from the municipal election in which he garnered a little more than 2,100 votes. Saul’s total dropped by nearly 600 from the Nov. 7 vote.
Green won 60 to 87 percent of the vote in each precinct and 53 percent of absentee ballots.
“The messaging I used was a very positive, very issue-driven campaign,” Green said. “I was far more comprehensive than any other candidate I’ve seen,” especially in his online materials. “I listed exactly where I stand, I was honest and that attracted people.
“I’m grateful to everyone who turned out today, and to those who supported my campaign — especially during the runoff,” Green said in a prepared statement. “I’m proud to have led a positive, constructive and nonpartisan campaign, and I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the council, staff and residents on the issues facing our city.”
Green said initially he wants city officials to engage citizens more, build neighborhood relationships and focus on improving the city’s comprehensive plan.
“I’m not jumping in as a firebrand who wants to change things right away,” he said. “The first thing is just building up trust, relationships with people.”
On specific issues, Green said he supports a “limited window” for discharging fireworks as opposed to a ban. Taiber also opposed a total ban. He also supports some kind of balance among full-time police and firefighters and cross-trained public safety officers.
Saul congratulated Green on his victory. “I hope he represents the citizens of Cedar Falls the best he can,” she said. “Now it’s time to move forward.”
Saul retains her seat on the Cedar Falls Planning and Zoning Commission and is board president of Cedar Falls Community Main Street.
The two candidates shared a laugh at Monday’s City Council meeting when Saul noted one of her campaign workers called Green’s house to seek his wife’s support.
“I think I won that vote,” Green said.