Spring, 2014 | ELECTION WATCH • INTER-COUNTY LEADER
The invisible contest: SCF city has a write-in race
Urhammer vs. Huenink for Korb’s seat
Greg Marsten | Staff writer
ST. CROIX FALLS – City of St. Croix Falls voters may think there are no contested races as they head to the voting booths next Tuesday, April, 1, but there is one race, after all, but the names are not on any ballots.
While incumbent Mayor Brian Blesi is running unchallenged for a return to the top chair, the other two wards in District 1 each have uncontested races, as both incumbent aldermen, Don Anderson and Bob Kazmierski, seek returns to their seats without challengers.
It should be noted that Kazmierski was appointed by the council last year, and is technically seeking to continue in the seat he has held since Alderperson Loreen Clayton-Morrell moved out of the district she was originally elected for several years ago. Her seat, currently held by Kazmierski, has just one year remaining, but he is without a challenger.
However, voters in District 2 will face an empty ballot on Tuesday, as current alderman Randy Korb did not seek reelection, and nobody else filed for the seat before the deadline, the ballots will be blank.
But those District 2 voters do have two official write-in candidates who have registered with city hall to be write-in candidates: Jeff Huenink and Lee Urhammer. Both candidates are profiled here, since they have filed as official write-ins, but it will be up to voters to decide which name to write in.
Jeff Huenink is a retired St. Croix Falls High School band director and teacher, where he taught for a quarter century.
He has held a number of volunteer leadership positions and currently serves as a church council president, he has never sought elected office prior to this election.
“It’s my first time running for anything,” Huenink said. “But I’ve lived in St. Croix Falls for 28 years, and I’ve read up on the issues.”
He is a married father of two adult children and is very active in local politics. He added that he has been very involved in several organizations over the last dozen years and is well-versed in working with people and different ideas.
“I’m running because nobody else was running, “ Huenink said. “I’d be glad to serve, and I don’t have an agenda or a desire to do any major changes.”
He said he ran because he hated to see an empty ballot, and is excited to possibly have the opportunity to be on the common council.
“I don’t really seek any changes, and in reality, there’s not all that much we can change on a local (municipal) level anymore,” he said. “We can’t change the budgets much, except for cuts.”
Huenink said he wants to make sure the city’s budgets remain in order and said he would “make sure the city’s priorities are in line.”
“I really don’t have an agenda of any sort, I just want to serve,” he added, hoping that voters write his name in for the vacancy.
Lee Urhammer is a former two-term mayor of the city and is seeking a return to city hall after a several year hiatus. He is a local insurance agent and has lived in St. Croix Falls since 1970. He has one adult son and had a similar reason for seeking the vacant aldermanic seat.
“Somebody had to run!” Urhammer said. “I hate to see nobody wanting to take the job.”
Urhammer said he is seeking the seat because he wanted to be involved in city issues again.
“I think people in general seem to be discontent on spending issues and on a few other things,” he said.
While Urhammer had no specific things he would change, if elected to the common council seat, he said he wants the city to continue to promote job growth and he said he also hopes to help increase the tax base, if elected.
“I think that’s important, as it would be good for the whole city, and we need to keep the taxes in check,” he said.
Urhammer said he hopes to can help keep the city moving forward if elected.