Des Moines election results

a close up of a clipboard holding campaign literature for Chelsea Chism-Vargas

Tuesday night was a historic election for us. It was the first time CCI Action members voted to endorse candidates in the Des Moines City Council race. Endorsing Jack Hatch for Mayor and Chelsea Chism-Vargas for City Council in Ward 4 came as the next step in our work to change the way politics are done in Iowa. We are running candidates who are aligned with our movements, turning out our people power to get them elected, and setting up co-governing relationships with the candidates who win. 

And our issues showed up strong for the first time ever in Des Moines municipal elections. Because we knocked doors, we heard people’s experiences being racially profiled by the Des Moines police. Because we phone banked, we heard about people’s worries for our safe, clean drinking water. This was, and is, huge.  

Last night we gathered together to watch the returns roll in, until the results were clear: Chelsea Chism-Vargas lost her bid for Joe Gatto’s seat on the City Council, and Jack Hatch received enough votes to force a runoff for mayor. 

There are many ways to measure wins. The Chism-Vargas campaign built a powerful coalition between CCI Action, the Des Moines Democratic Socialists of America, and young reproductive rights activists. Black leaders did multiple phone banks and canvass shifts. Chelsea engaged many Latino leaders from her networks. Many of the people in these groups had never met. Many had never knocked doors or phone banked, and are ready to continue the practice! 

The elections weren’t just about Ward 4 or the mayor’s office. It was about our stories and our issues, and putting everyday people at the center of our political system.

The runoff election for mayor, Ward 2, and at-large is Tuesday Dec. 3, but we’re not waiting to cast our votes! Since it’s a special election, we know turnout will be low, and it will be easy to let slip the fact that this random Tuesday in December is an election day at all!

That’s why I’m asking you to vote early for Jack Hatch. Use this link to download an Absentee Ballot Request form. Then, mail it into the Polk County Auditor’s office at 111 Court Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50309. You can also pick up a form from us at CCI HQ. 

The groundwork we lay this year will allow us to build even more people power in upcoming elections. A special thanks to each of you who helped get out the vote for Jack Hatch and Chelsea Chism-Vargas this fall! 

The fight continues! 

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