UPDATE: Jon Crews dropping out of Cedar Falls mayoral runoff - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Jon Crews dropping out of Cedar Falls mayoral runoff

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -

UPDATE- Long time Cedar Falls Mayor, Jon Crews with a shocker today, he's ending his campaign for mayor and conceding the race to challenger Jim Brown.
    Mayor Jon Crews says he's pulling out of the run-off race and will retire at the end of his current term.

Two candidates challenged crews in Tuesdays election, in which crews finished a distance second to school board member, Jim Brown, forcing a December 1st runoff.
Jim Brown got 45% of the vote. An uphill battle for Jon Crews in the run off.

Jon Crews said his decision to drop out and retire was not one he took lightly, but he did say the nature of run-off campaigns did play a part.
 Instead of spending the next month slinging mud at the opposing team, he will be passing on his knowledge of the job to Jim Brown. 
 And that began this morning when Crews told Brown about his plans.

"Having Coffee this morning," said Brown
 "So this is really brand new?" asked KWWL's Jessica Hartman.
"This is really brand new. How am I doing so far?" asked Brown.

 Yesterday, Brown and Crews were on opposite sides of a run-off elections.
  Now the two are meeting as members of the same team.
 Crews says this is how he would prefer to spend the next two months.
 

"You get into a run off and you get negative campaigns. Sometimes I don't like to do that and people said well you've got to do that. I said I don't look forward to that, so I said, well I was already going to retire soon so lets do it this year," said Crews.

City Hall has been home to Mayor Crews for 30 years. His focus now, to make the transition smooth from him to Jim Brown.
"We talked about meeting at least once a week and talk about what the budget and goals; there is a 2025 plan that's in the process right now. So I'm going to try and transition. Say here are the key things I think will be good for you to consider," said Crews.

 "It is humbling, I think. As I might read through the lines, he is entrusting me to continue what he has established the last 40 years of involvement; 30 years as mayor. That's humbling because I love the city we live in as well." said Brown. 

 When asked if things would have been different had Crews pulled out of the race before Tuesday, leaving Brown and candidate Dave Halterman alone in race, Brown said,  "I don't think it necessary make much of a difference. We had the goal before us, we had a date for an election, we had a message to get out. From that point forward, I believe the folks have spoken, as per our process."

KWWL did reach out to Dave Halterman, and he says he will be mounting a write-in campaign for the run-off election on December 1st.

So, the runoff will go on and Jon Crews name will still appear on the ballot.
But, Black Hawk County Auditor, Grant Veeder, says his office is looking at ways to economize and streamline the December 1st Cedar Falls Runoff.  

"because we're expecting a lot of people will consider it a foregone conclusion that Mr. Brown will be the winner and won't come out and vote. So, we can open the polls at noon, be law, and we can combine precincts, or we can have a vote center or multiple vote-centers, where everybody would vote,    rather than opening all 15 precincts," said Grant Veeder.

But, Veeder says no final decisions have been made concerning those possibilities. 

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Jon Crews has announced he's retiring.

Crews said Thursday morning he is suspending his campaign and will be dropping out of the Cedar Falls runoff for mayor against Cedar Falls board of Education member Jim Brown.

"Things are good in Cedar Falls, I don't regret walking away," said Crews.

Crews said  he will finish his current term, and will then retire.

"After the election results earlier this week, the campaign chair said maybe you should just retire this year rather than in two years because we had already talked about that," said Crews. " So I talked about that with my family,  my campaign committee co-chairs, and a couple council members and so I decided to retire two years earlier." 

Crews has been a part of three runoffs in his career, and said he may or may not have been successful in this one.

He said he now plans to spend time with family, and focus on several projects.

"Rather than spend the next month campaigning, I can spend time with my family," Crews said.

Crews said he wants to ensure a smooth transition for Brown.

Brown said, "It's humbling, I think. As I might read through the lines, he is entrusting me to continue what he has established the last 40 years of involvement, 30 years as mayor. That's humbling because I love the city we live in as well."

Brown hopes to meet with Crews regularly beginning the transition process.

"We were kind of running against each other in the campaign, now it's more of a mentor type of relationship," said Brown. "Because there is a wealth of knowledge there and I want to hit the ground as hard as I can but I do know that he will have 40 years and a couple months on me in terms of knowing what's going on."

The Black Hawk County Auditor, Grant Veeder said, "Crew's name will still be on the ballot."

Veeder said they are "looking for ways to economize the election." Since the foregone conclusion will determine Brown as the winner.

Veeder said he plans to reduce the cost to 5,000, which can be done through different options including not opening the polls until noon, or combining precincts.

Link to Crews press release: http://ftpcontent6.worldnow.com/kwwl/NewsDocs/Crews Mayor Press Release.pdf

Madelyne Rosenberg contributed to this article. 

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