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Candidate Profiles: Szopinski Touts Experience in Collaboration and Compromise

Three people in the Ames City Council's 4th Ward have opted to run for the open seat in the Nov. 8 election. Riad Mahayni, who currently holds the seat, decided not to seek re-election. Frank Jeffrey, Chuck Jons and Victoria Szopinski are vying for the se

Council Candidate Ward 4

Name: Victoria Szopinski

Age: 55

Family: Husband, Steve Sullivan; son, Harry Sullivan, 11.

Occupation: Former director of conference services at Iowa State University. Currently she is a community volunteer.

Education: Bachelor's degree in marketing from Iowa State University in 1990 and a master's degree in communications from Simon Fraser University Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1994. Szopinski worked in the music business in the Detroit area before going back to school.

Why you are running for office: “It's something I wanted to do for a long time and the timing was right for me.” Szopinski said her son is getting older … and since Riad Mahayni, who currently holds the seat, decided not to run she decided to try running in an election without an incumbent, which is typically easier. Szopinski also said people have asked her to seek office.

What sets you apart from the other candidates: “I think I bring a fresh perspective. I have a lot of experience and I have different experience. I've lived in other places. Much of the other work I have done is about finding compromise and finding collaboration. I think that's what makes me different.”

An issue: “I'm interested in everything. I'm not angry about anything and I am not doing this job because there is one thing I have to fix.” Szopinski said she has been talking to many people while campaigning and will continue to do so as a council member so that she can make the best decision.

What else should people know: "I am energetic. The more I learn I realize there's a lot I don't know. I have lot more to learn. … I'm ready to do it."

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