Kewaunee to have new mayor after Christman decides to not seek re-election
KEWAUNEE – With the deadline looming to file candidacy papers to run for office in the April 7 elections, it appears the city will have a new mayor.
Incumbent Sandi Christman posted on her mayoral Facebook page that she won't seek re-election. Christman first won the seat in 2016 and was re-elected in 2018.
"After much thought and family discussions, I’ve realized my core needs to be re-energized by spending more time with family, traveling (especially with a brother and now a son living on the east coast), more time for pursuing education, and time for reflection," Christman wrote on her page.
Meanwhile, two candidates began considering campaigns for the office before Christman announced she would step aside.
Jason Jelinek, who's represented District 1 as an alderman since 2016, is seeking signatures for his nomination papers; and John Blaha, who served as mayor from 2007 until he was defeated by Christman in 2016 and served on City Council before that, took out papers but is deciding if he will pursue the seat.
Jelinek said this week he has most of the signatures he needs for the official nomination. He said if elected, he hopes to continue focusing on city finances and helping the city grow.
"I just want to continue to see growth on Kewaunee," Jelinek said. "My main focus is hoping to be a good advocate for the city, trying to get people interested in what's going on in the community … giving City Council the resources to make good decisions."
Blaha is interested in running but said he needs to decide if he can balance the time it takes to be mayor with running his business, Blaha Body Shop, before he files nomination papers. He said he has an idea of the time needed from his nine years as mayor, although he noted things may be different now than they were when he last was in office.
"We're trying to weigh between the responsibilities," Blaha said. "Times have changed over the last four years … It's something we're discussing in our minds, discussing here (at the shop). We don't want to run and not have the time to devote to the city."
Should he run, Blaha said one of his main platforms is to have a more open government. He said he feels the council has taken items into closed sessions too often in recent years.
Prospective candidates for all offices in the spring elections must file their nomination papers by Jan. 7.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee to have new mayor after Christman decides to not seek re-election