By Jack Mayne

Luisa Bangs served a full term as an elected member of the Des Moines City Council but was defeated for reelection, then was selected to fill out the term of former Deputy Mayor and Councilmember Vic Pennington when he was appointed Chief of South King Fire & Rescue.

Bangs was elected by a 3–2 vote to fill the unexpired term of Pennington at the Feb. 13, 2020 meeting. She briefly filed for reelection, then withdrew from the race, as did Mayor Matt Pina. Bangs was defeated by current Councilmember JC Harris in the 2019 election

Honored, fought for truth
“I have been honored and am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to serve the community,” she said in a statement to The Waterland Blog. “Des Moines is clearly at a crossroads and I have tried to contribute to moving our city forward.”

“Recently, however, the City Council has become more contentious. Now mind you, this is not a bad thing. Elected representatives must stand up for what they believe in.

“The problems arise when falsehoods are bandied about as truths, when Councilmembers misrepresent the positions of other Councilmembers, and when those falsehoods and lies become common currency in the political realm.”

“I have fought for the truth throughout my elected career and there is nothing I’d rather do than stand up for truth, truth based on facts,” she said. “This I will do no matter what, whether on a board, commission or as a community member.

“This was my motivation in filing my candidacy to continue to represent Des Moines.”

Surgery, grandson
“However, very recently I was made aware of a need for some surgery that would impact my ability to campaign,” she said in a statement. “I also take care of my grandson during much of the week. After I filed, I realized that I would be unable to give the dedicated amount of effort and time that a campaign deserves and requires.”

She said she believed “it was the right thing to do, and with generous support of my family, I have withdrawn my name from consideration as a candidate.”

Apology
“I apologize if I have let anyone down,” she said in her statement. “However, for those who are critical of my decision, I strongly, as I have always have, encourage you, in the future to get involved. Run for office, volunteer for a committee, and leave you own imprint on our city. I thank all who have supported me throughout my time as a City Councilmember in our great city of Des Moines and I will continue to volunteer for service wherever I can.”