John Skipper Column: Ex-councilman unknown factor in city elections

2013-06-24T00:01:00Z 2014-10-20T14:46:40Z John Skipper Column: Ex-councilman unknown factor in city electionsBy John Skipper Mason City Globe Gazette
June 24, 2013 12:01 am  • 

One of the intriguing questions about this year’s city elections is whether former councilman Max Weaver will become a candidate again.

He wouldn’t have to worry about name recognition. He is one of the few people in the city who is easily identified just by his first name.

When you say “Max,” everyone knows who you are talking about. Can you think of anyone else in the city with that distinction?

Weaver has run six times for City Council, winning three, losing three.

He defeated Dolores Kew in his first run in 1995 for a Third Ward seat.

In 1999 and 2001, he ran for the at-large seat and lost to Lori Henry and Roger Bang respectively.

In 1993, he ran once again for the at-large seat and defeated Scott Tornquist by 14 votes.

In 2007, he was re-elected to the at-large seat, defeating the late Al Zook who was already on the council.

In 2011, rather than oppose Alex Kuhn to keep his at-large post, Weaver opted to run for his old Third Ward seat and lost to Jean Marinos.

If he wants to get back in the fray this year, he only has two choices.

He can go up against Mayor Eric Bookmeyer and challenger Quinn Symonds, assuming the mayor seeks re-election. He hasn’t announced his intentions, but if I were a betting man....

The other choice would be for him to challenge incumbent Scott Tornquist and newcomer Jodi Draper for the at-large position. Tornquist has not said whether he’ll run for re-election, but if I were a betting man...

Some questions arise.

Aside from the satisfaction of possibly defeating Bookmeyer, does Weaver really want to be mayor with all the pomp and circumstance that goes with it? And does the public want him as the standard bearer for Mason City?

When he ran against Tornquist in 2003, it was an open seat and he won by just 14 votes. Now Tornquist is the incumbent and Weaver is the outsider. What impact would that have?

Here are the biggest questions: Bookmeyer and Tornquist already have announced opponents.

If Weaver becomes a candidate, won’t that divide the votes against the incumbents, helping their cause?

Or will the anti-Weaver vote be divided, allowing him a better chance to win?

Is there a Max factor this year? We’ll see.

Reach John Skipper at 421-0537 or

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