The Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce is backing CEO Dan Portes to be Davenport’s next mayor, giving him a major boost of support from the business community with less than five weeks to go before the October primary.
The Chamber’s political action committee has committed to bankrolling Portes as the municipal election season unfolds. In a statement, Iowa Growth PAC Chairman Tom Schuetz said Portes “understands the need and has a clear vision for creating safe neighborhoods, economic development, and investing in and improving the city’s aging infrastructure.”
“This focus will spur economic growth and move Davenport and the Quad Cities region forward,” Schuetz added.
Portes previously was chairman of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce’s board. He’s running for office on a slogan of making Davenport better, saying he wants to focus on addressing city crime, improving flood protection and growing the local economy.
Portes became the latest addition to the candidate pool when he announced his intention to run for mayor in late July. He is one of six candidates seeking to take over for Mayor Frank Klipsch, who is not running for reelection.
Klipsch was supported by the Chamber during his first election run in 2015. He faced no challenger when he ran for a second term.
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Others in the race are Steve Duffy, a retired insurance policy manager; Alderman Mike Matson, 7th Ward; Alderwoman Rita Rawson, 5th Ward; Elizabeth VanCamp, a University of Iowa Hospitals social media specialist; and Dean Weber, a longtime city worker with the Public Works Department.
The primary election will take place Oct. 8. The top two vote-getters will advance to the general election on Nov. 5.
As he campaigns for office, Portes has pointed to his business background leading a locally based human resources firm among his credentials. He’s also referenced his experience with community organizing as an example of his leadership style, specifically his role in getting a local option sales tax passed to support Davenport public school renovations. He was also previously an elected member of the Davenport School Board.
Portes is not the only candidate who has won big local endorsements.
Matson, an alderman since 2008, has secured a number of endorsements, including several from organized labor groups. And he’s picked up support from four Quad-Cities area Democrats in the Iowa statehouse.