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Voters throughout southeast Iowa will go to the polls on November 7 to fill city council seats and elect mayors. There are contested races in some of the largest cities: Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Burlington.Tri States Public Radio talked to the candidates in these cities about their campaigns and put together an online audio election guide. Hear what the candidates have to say and become informed before you vote.

Election 2017 - Burlington City Council - Jon Billups

Burlington City Hall

The October 10 primary narrowed the field of candidates seeking three open seats on the Burlington City Council from 15 to 6. Tri States Public Radio spoke prior to the primary with the top six finishers including Jon Billups, who finished first.

Billups is the General Manager for Bluff Harbor Marina and an advertising representative for Pritchard Broadcasting. He said he thought about running for city council for years and decided now was the best time.

Billups said the biggest challenge facing Burlington is the declining population over the past 10-15 years. He said one way to try reversing that is by focusing on reducing crime.

Billups said he wants to see more attractions along the riverfront, such as a floating boardwalk. He would also like to see a city-wide rental inspection program and better communication between city staff and residents.

Early voting is underway in Burlington ahead of the November 7 general election.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.