Mayoral candidates face off in debate ahead of runoff election - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mayoral candidates face off in debate ahead of runoff election

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No stranger to debates, Brad Hart and Monica Vernon once again took the tough questions with hopes of becoming the next mayor of Cedar Rapids.

The debate was hosted by the Linn County League of Women Voters. After opening remarks, Hart and Vernon split up into two groups to answer questions with people one-on-one.

Both were met with a diverse group of questions but many concerns people had tended to gravitate towards flood protection and housing affordability.

After the group sessions, Vernon and Hart went head-to-head. One of the questions asked was about the failure to pass a Casino vote for the city.

"The gaming commission has ruled against us twice. I say it's time to move on. It's time to take those three or four blocks there and bid it all and put something wonderful there but it won't be gaming," Vernon said.

Hart, too, said it was time for the city to move on.

"I think we just have to redouble our efforts to come up amenities that can attract visitors that all of us can use and enjoy," he said.

Many of the questions were met with similar responses, such as with affordable housing.

"It's housing for young families and parents. Let's give them a decent place to live while their raising their family and their moving up in their careers. It's also workforce housing," Hart said.

In her response, Vernon cited her experience on city council.

"I feel really strongly that we need more affordable housing as chair as the development committee on the council we moved 39 buildings through," Vernon said.

The runoff election between Hart and Vernon will take place on December 5th.

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