Hart moved to Cedar Rapids in 1990 and has established his career as a lawyer and reputation as a philanthropist, propelling him to victory Tuesday night.

Burlington native Brad Hart was elected mayor of Cedar Rapids Tuesday night in a runoff election that initially included eight candidates.

By Tuesday night, the race was down to Hart, a business lawyer in Cedar Rapids, and former city council member Monica Vernon.

According to the unofficial results, Hart won the election with more than 54 percent of the vote.

Hart was born and raised in Burlington, as was his high school sweetheart, Jade Delang Hart.

After graduating from Iowa State University, Hart, 62, completed his law degree in Houston, Texas, and lived there 11 years before settling in Cedar Rapids.

In addition to his professional career, Hart volunteered for several organizations in Cedar Rapids and served as board chairman for the Cedar Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Young Parents Network, Horizons and United Way of East Central Iowa.

At Burlington High School, Hart said he was student council president, lead the a capella club and was captain of the football team.

"I'm not sure where it all came from," Hart said of his leadership abilities and passion for public service. "When I believe in something, I want to move it forward."

His mother, Alice Hart, has been active in the Burlington community, serving as choir director at West Hill Methodist Church for decades.

"Of course it's delightful hearing good comments about your children," said Alice Hart. "There's never been a time that I wasn't proud of Brad. He's been a good boy all of his life, and this is just a continuation of that."

She noted the grassroots organization of his campaign as a sign of the vast support he had from the Cedar Rapids community.

"They didn't have a big outside involvement, this was pretty grassroots," Alice Hart said. "Friends and coworkers from over the years knew what a special man Brad is and how much he loved the city, so they wanted to work for him."

Hart will replace outgoing mayor Ron Corbett in January.

Corbett is running against incumbent Gov. Kim Reynolds as a Republican candidate for governor.