Monica Vernon

Born:October 19, 1957 (age 66)
Career:Mayor pro tempore of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 2009-2015
Cedar Rapids City Council, 2007-2015
Education:B.A. and M.B.A., University of Iowa

Monica Vernon is a former member of the Cedar Rapids City Council and former mayor pro tempore of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She was a candidate for U.S. Congress for Iowa's 1st congressional district in the 2016 election, but lost to the incumbent in the general election.

Vernon was born October 19, 1957, on an Air Force base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She received a B.A. in journalism with a business emphasis from the University of Iowa in 1980 and her M.B.A. in business administration from the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa in 1999.

After college, Vernon worked for Dickinson State College as an associate director of college relations from 1980-1981. She was a reporter and section editor for The Cedar Rapids Gazette from 1981-1983. From 1983-1985 Vernon was director of public information for Mount Mercy College. From 1985-1987, Vernon worked for Frank N. Magid Associates as a market research consultant. In 1987, she founded the Vernon Research Group, a market research firm, and was president and CEO until the firm until 2013. She was also an adjunct professor Tippie College of Business.

Vernon was elected to the Cedar Rapids City Council in 2007, joining the council in January 2008 and serving until 2015. During her time as councilwoman Vernon was the chair of the Economic Neighborhood Development Committee. She served as mayor pro tempore from 2009-2015. In 2009, she changed her party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. In 2014, Vernon ran for Congress in Iowa's 1st Congressional District for the seat vacated by Representative Bruce Braley but came in second behind former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy in a five-way primary. After the primary, Vernon joined Jack Hatch on the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial ticket as the candidate for lieutenant governor. Hatch and Vernon lost to five-term Republican incumbent Terry Branstad. In 2016, Vernon defeated Pat Murphy in the primary to become the Democratic nominee for Iowa's 1st Congressional District, but lost in the general election. In 2017 she ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Cedar Rapids.

Ballotpedia (n.d.). “Monica Vernon.” Ballotpedia Retrieved September 2, 2022.

The Gazette (2015, December 16). “Vernon’s Cedar Rapids council career draws to a close.” The Gazette. Retrieved September 2, 2022.

Linn County Iowa (n.d) “City Election Summary.” Linn County Iowa. Retrieved September 2, 2022.

Noble, J. (2014, June 17) “Hatch says Vernon is well-qualified for office.” Des Moines Register. Retrieved September 2, 2022.

Noble, J. (2016, May 12) “Vernon’s bid for Congress flows from Cedar Rapids flood.” Des Moines Register. Retrieved September 2, 2022.

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