Three City Commission seats up for election

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

Following a primary in August, six candidates remain in the race for Leavenworth City Commission.

Three at-large seats on the commission are up for election this year. Voters in Leavenworth will be asked to vote for three or fewer candidates. The top three vote-getters will be elected to the commission.

The six candidates are incumbents Mike Griswold, Mark Preisinger and Jermaine Wilson as well as Maren Hart, Edd Hingula and Griff Martin.

The Leavenworth Times submitted the same questions to all of the candidates. Hart did not respond in time. Answers from the other candidates are included in this article.

Early voting has started. Election Day is Nov. 2.

Mike Griswold

Mike Griswold

Age: 70

Occupation: Retired military officer and defense contractor

Political experience: Elected to Leavenworth City Commission in 2017; began four-year term in January 2018; served as mayor pro-tem in 2019; served as mayor in 2020. Running for reelection.

Edd Hingula

Edd Hingula

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired military and civil service

Political experience: First-time candidate for any office

Griff Martin

Griff Martin

Age: 38

Occupation: Business development professional

Political experience: None

Mark Preisinger

Mark Preisinger

Age: 70

Occupation: President, Mark 8 Global Source Inc.

Political experience: Two terms on Leavenworth USD 453 school board; City Commission 2009-present

Jermaine Wilson

Jermaine Wilson

Age: 34

Occupation: Regional director of Prison Fellowship

Political experience: Three years as city commissioner, one year as mayor of Leavenworth.

What changes would you like to see in city government?

Griswold: More emphasis on strategic communications with Leavenworth citizens. As mayor, I held 17 Facebook Live town halls and wrote three columns for the Leavenworth Times. “First City Connection” newsletter should include more stories about economic development.

Hingula: I'd like to see more opportunities for public input to decisions made by the City Commission, and other boards, commissions, task forces, etc. I would also like to see a non-partisan group of qualified financial experts, who do not currently hold any position in the city government, evaluate city spending.

Martin: A high level of engagement with the people and businesses of our community and a government that proactively enables healthy growth within our economy to lower property taxes.

Preisinger: There are no particular changes I espouse in our present form of city government. I completely support the non-partisan elections for City Commission and think making it partisan is not in the best interest of the citizens.

Wilson: I would like to see a Boys and Girls Club here in Leavenworth. It’s important to invest in our youth.

Why are you the best candidate for the position?

Griswold: I am uniquely qualified by virtue of my significant public service governing experience (16 years), senior leadership skills and business acumen to build on the progress made by the city over the last four years.

Hingula: I seek to represent the citizens of Leavenworth. To that end, I will make myself available to citizens for discussions about issues as they see them. Then hopefully I'll be able to advocate for their position on those issues. I will work to spend taxpayer dollars on needs for the citizens on Leavenworth before nice-to-have things.

Martin: I will protect our individual liberties and freedoms, while also partnering with our local businesses and the people in our community with complete transparency and accountability.

Preisinger: Leavenworth has been my hometown for the past 59 years. I will always strive to make Leavenworth a better place to live, work, invest and raise a family. I have the experience, integrity and passion to continue to serve.

Wilson: I’m committed to serve and represent all people in my community. My track record proves that I’m able to create solutions to problems. I’m a voice for the voiceless.