Old school, modern Democratic GOTV to face off in Des Moines City Council race

Less than 24 hours after news broke of Chris Diebel’s candidacy for the Des Moines City Council’s at-large seat, incumbent Skip Moore’s campaign announced the endorsement of the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, “a coalition of 52 local affiliated unions.” Moore was a unionized city employee for many years and had strong backing from organized labor in his successful 2009 campaign.

Diebel is a marketing specialist who worked for several hip downtown Des Moines businesses before becoming a managing partner in LPCA Public Strategies, the public and government relations firm headed by Iowa’s most prominent Democratic consultant, Jeff Link. A former “young professional of the year,” Diebel has volunteered for a wide range of non-profit organizations, including several that will generate support from “upscale” Democrats and Republicans (e.g. Des Moines-Westside Chamber of Commerce, Des Moines Arts Festival).

Local elections tend to have low turnout, and it will be fascinating to see which campaign does a better job of mobilizing supporters: organized labor’s boots on the ground or LPCA’s cutting edge campaign management techniques.

UPDATE: On August 1 the Central Iowa Building & Construction Trades Council became the second large labor group to endorse Moore for re-election. According to a news release, “The council represents 17 local labor unions and over 5,000 skilled union workers in central Iowa.”

  • Wrong Race

    It all seems a lot of trouble for a city council seat, and I’m not sure why Diebel is running against a perfectly good sitting D (albeit in a non-party race) rather than running in an empty seat race (Hatch’s seat).  I appreciate that Diebel is young and has plenty of time to work his way up, but I think he would have a good shot at the Senate race — and if he is going to hit the same union opposition in either race, why not try the bigger one (against a candidate with some baggage to go with that union support)?  

    • Agreed

      The Des Moines at large is a pretty thankless job. The district is much larger too, which makes organizing far more difficult. Also since it is a low profile race it makes getting people involved and raising money harder too.

    • Cityview's Civic Skinny

      had speculated that Diebel would not run in Senate district 17 if Ned Chiodo was running, and he plans to run. I think maybe it’s time for some new blood in the Iowa Senate.

      I agree with you that this seems like the wrong race. I have not heard of any good reason to replace Skip Moore.

      • Deferring to Chiodo

        I had also heard he would defer, and then after Diebel got out I heard Chiodo might not run after all.  

        But a race between two guys who had both semi-retired from politics trying to come back for no apparent reason doesn’t strike me as good for the district or for the party, which needs to look ahead and work on its bench.

        I was hoping Diebel would run even if Chido ran as well, let the chips fall where they may, even if Chiodo goes way back with Campbell, Link and Anderson. Oh well.    

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