MASON CITY – Paul Adams dominated his opponent in the run-off election for the vacant at-large city council seat, beating “Action Coach” Andy O’Brien by over 1,200 votes in a low-turnout affair.
Mr. Adams mustered 2,051 votes to only 847 for O’Brien, who insiders tell NIT was the choice of Mayor Eric Bookmeyer and the Chamber of Commerce. Adams ran a campaign based on old-fashioned door-knocking, yard signs and modern social media. The two men escaped an 8-man field in a September 20 election to meet in this run-off, which was caused by the July 15 death of Alex Kuhn.
The main difference between Mr. Adams and O’Brien was one stark issue: The Prestage pork plant. O’Brien was a strong supporter of Prestage, saying “What if works, What if we grow as a community ?” (sic), while Mr. Adams was against it from the start. He spoke eloquently twice at city council meetings during the heat of the dramatic, tragic, fatal fiasco that Eric Bookmeyer thrust upon the city, urging the council to turn the mayor’s dream of massive hog slaughterhouse away.
Mr. Adams told NIT prior to election night that “as long as turnout is decent on Tuesday, I like our chances.” Although only 15.7% of registered Mason City voters made it to the polls, it was more than enough for him to keep another Bookmeyer crony out of city hall. He will begin serving immediately.
NIT reached out to Andy O’Brien a number of times for comment since he declared his candidacy back on August 3. O’Brien said he was “too busy” to talk. He also refused to make time to attend the only public forum offered to the voters with most of the rest of the original council candidates, held on September 13th.