You can learn a lot — or at least learn a lot about what questions you might have — looking through campaign disclosures, and local races are no different. Iowa makes it pretty easy to access the reports, which are due before Election Day, for candidates running for city, school and state offices.
The graph above comes from George Shillcock of the Press-Citizen, who put together a very nice breakdown of the financial reports for Iowa City candidates while his colleague Cleo Krejci has a breakdown for school board candidates. Meanwhile The Gazette is reporting on the Cedar Rapids races.
It’s nice to see coverage of this since the only way these reports matter are if voters are aware of the reports and digest the context they offer, and the best way for that to happen is, well, reporting on them.