Maquoketa residents can listen as candidates for Maquoketa City Council express their views for the future of Maquoketa and learn where they stand on the issues.

The public is invited to a candidate forum beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in Maquoketa City Hall Council Chambers. The Maquoketa Area Chamber of Commerce is organizing the forum.

Maquoketa residents will decide two contested council races this fall.

Daniel Holm threw his hat in the ring, vying for the 1st Ward seat currently held by Ronald Horan Jr., who is seeking re-election. Both men sought an appointment to that seat in 2018 after Craig Orris resigned. The council appointed Horan.

Richard Rickerl seeks the at-large seat currently held by Kevin Kuhlman, who also wants to retain his seat.

Also running for Maquoketa City Council seats are incumbents Erica Barker, who was appointed to the 3rd Ward position, and Mark Lyon, who defeated Jason James for the 5th Ward seat in 2017.

Don Schwenker seeks his fourth, two-year term as mayor. He was elected to the position in 2011 after serving on the city council.

All candidates, both contested and uncontested, will be given an opportunity for a three-minute opening statement. All questions were submitted prior to the forum and will be screened by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. These questions are asked only to the candidates of contested race.

Candidates will not be provided the questions prior to this forum.

Maquoketa City Council members serve four-year terms.

Holdover council members are Jessica Kean, 2nd Ward, and Josh Collister, at-large. Jacob Baker resigned his 4th Ward seat; the council is expected to appoint someone to that seat in November.

The election for city council and school board will be Nov. 5.

Absentee ballots are now available for the election, according to Jackson County Auditor Alisa Smith.

Registered voters may visit the auditor’s office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to vote in the office. They also may print an absentee ballot request form from the Jackson County website,, complete the form, and send it to the auditor’s office at 201 W. Platt St., Maquoketa. Do this to receive a ballot by mail.

The auditor’s office must receive absentee ballot requests no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 25.

Absentee ballots must be returned to the auditor’s office by Monday, Nov. 4. Mailed ballots must be postmarked on or before Nov. 4 for the votes to be counted.