Fort Madison Mayor Brad Randolph has seen great improvements in the city in the past few years, and he wants to continue to be a part of those and other improvements that might be coming down the pike.
He spoke at a rally Saturday night at the Knights of Columbus Hall, asking those attending to vote for him in November and to encourage others to vote as well.
“City elections are typically low turnout,” Randolph said, and he said he doesn’t take anything for granted.
Randolph is running against challenger Donna Amandus, making her first try at an elected city post. There is also a contested race for City Council in Ward 2 and a three-way race for the at-large spot, so that might increase voter turnout.
But Randolph extended his invitation for support beyond those in the room. “If the citizens of Fort Madison buy into my leadership philosophy and they like what they see, then they need to make sure they get out and vote.”
First, though, Randolph told the crowd three things: “Who you’re voting for, what you’re voting for and why you’re voting.”
Randolph is a native from East Peoria, the middle of three sons. His older brother is a dentist like Randolph is, and the younger brother is in real estate.
He originally worked with his dentist sibling in Normal, Ill., but chose to work on his own. He moved to Fort Madison in 1995 where a fellow University of Iowa grad was: Mark Pothitakis. At Pothitakis’ wedding to Kara Junkins, Randoloph met Fort Madison native Jan Hoyer and the two were married in 1997.
He went from an associate dentist in Burlington to having his own practice. He said he bought four dental offices and combined them into one.
From those experiences and those growing up in the home where his father was a successful businessman, Randolph said, “I know what it takes to work hard.”
As for the ‘what,’ Randolph said residents will be voting on the future of Fort Madison. There’s already a resurgence with new infrastructure, facade improvements and developers coming in. He pointed to Todd Schneider buying the old Fort Madison Middle School as another plus to the community.
“I don’t take credit for a lot of things that have happened, but I’ve been a part of them,” Randolph said. “Things are starting to take shape.”
As for ‘why’ vote for Randolph, “You recognize my ability as a leader,” he told the group. “I can build relationships. I can build a concensus.”
He noted that, “Everybody has a concern, but we have to look at the big picture.”
But he also said that the City Council is a very diverse group, noting that he and councilmen Jason Huppert and Kevin Rink couldn’t be more different.
“We’re about as far from a good ol’ boys club as you can get,” he said, unless by that one means a group committed to improving Fort Madison.
“We are hitting on all cylinders. We’re well past the town with a potential; we’re the town that’s realizing it.”
In an interview afterwards, Randolph said he is aware of the negative comments people have made about the city. “The negative attitude that some people are trying to sell isn’t helpful any more.
“You have to have a positive approach to get positive results.”
He said it also takes a good team, and he said he and City Manager Byron Smith and the City Council have been a good team.