Espinoza’s candidacy challenged as she lives outside second ward

Espinoza’s candidacy challenged as she lives outside second ward 1
Brenda Espinoza’s residence lies in Perry’s third ward.

A Perry law firm has objected to the eligibility of Brenda Espinoza of Perry as a candidate for the Perry City Council from the second ward because she actually lives in the third ward.

Espinoza resides at 2111 First Ave. in Perry, according to nomination papers filed Thursday with the Dallas County Commissioner of Elections.

“We would request the Ms. Espinoza be removed from the ballot for Ward 2 of the City of Perry, since she does not actually reside in that specific Ward,” said the letter from the Perry law firm of  Finneseth, Dalen and Powell.

The objection was filed Monday. According to chapter 44 of the Iowa Code, “Objections to the legal sufficiency of a certificate of nomination or nomination petition or to the eligibility of a candidate may be filed by any person who would have the right to vote for a candidate for the office in question.”

John Powell of Perry, a partner in the law firm, is a resident of Perry’s second ward, and he signed the objection letter along with DuWayne Dalen of rural Adel, also a partner and the Perry city attorney.

When such an objection is raised, Iowa law requires that a committee be formed to consider the objection. The committee is by law composed of the mayor, city clerk and one city council member who is elected by the council members from among themselves.

Perry Mayor John Andorf, Perry City Clerk Liz Hix and Perry City Council member Dr. Randy McCaulley will consider the received objection to Espinoza’s petition for office Thursday, Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. in the second-floor meeting room of the Towncraft Building at 1122 Willis Ave.

Espinoza said she is looking forward to Thursday’s meeting and also to serving the people of Perry.

“I want to get involved with city government,” Espinoza said. “I don’t feel like there is a whole lot of young people involving themselves and I thought, You know what? I’ve always been interested in politics. Why not get involved with the city of Perry? I also view the city council, and I don’t see it being very diverse and for Perry really advertising that as being so diverse and there being a 40% population of a Hispanic demographic, maybe it’s time for somebody young or Hispanic to get involved and really represent the people of Perry. I feel like I will offer a fresh take on new ideas.”

The three-person committee could choose to remove Espinoza’s name from the Nov. 2 ballot. She is the only candidate running for the seat now occupied by McCaulley, who is not seeking reelection. The committee could also leave her name on the ballot.

“We would encourage Ms. Espinoza to run for a City Council position in Ward 3, which includes her residence, or she could run for the At Large City Council seat,” the objection letter said.

The majority decision of the committee “will be final” and will be sent to the Dallas County Auditor’s office, according to a notification issued Wednesday by the Perry City Hall.