Challenger defeats two-term incumbent for Des Moines city council seat

On Nov. 2, Indira Dixon Sheumaker defeated Councilman Bill Gray and Marcus Coenen in the general election for the Ward 1 position on the Des Moines, Iowa, City Council. Dixon Sheumaker received 46.4 of the vote while Gray received 36.3% and Coenen received 16.8%. Gray was first elected to the council in 2014.

According to WHO13, Dixon Sheumaker helped organize marches in the city following the killing of George Floyd in 2020, and she works with the Black Liberation Movement. In a statement following her win, she said she “campaign[ed] on a platform centered on Defunding the Police for Safety and Justice.”

The city council is made up of seven members, including the mayor. The mayor and two city council members are elected at large, and four city council members are elected by district. Two other seats—one ward and one at-large—were also up for election this year.

Des Moines is the capital of Iowa and the state’s most populous city. The city’s population was 214,133 as of the 2020 census.