By JOHN KLINE
THE GOSHEN NEWS
So we know there are at least a few people out there right now with their sights tentatively set on the mayoral seat. But what exactly does pursuing a mayoral seat actually involve for those who decide to take the plunge?
In an effort to help bring a little clarity to that lofty endeavor, The News recently sought the advice of Don Riegsecker, a capital wealth advisor with Indiana Community Bank who ran a close, but ultimately unsuccessful race against Kauffman in the 2011 mayoral election.
His first words of wisdom for pursuing a mayoral seat? Be prepared to lose some friends over your political views.
“I told my friends and associates feel free to put Mayor Kauffman signs in your yard, donate money to Mayor Kauffman, campaign for Mayor Kauffman and even serve on his political team,” Riegsecker said of his 2011 run. “If you are my friend today you will still be my friend tomorrow. It is not personal, it is just a difference of opinion on what may be best for the city of Goshen. What you will find out is that your friends and associates will tend to avoid you because they may be uncomfortable.”
Riegsecker also encouraged anyone thinking of pursuing a mayoral seat to strongly consider funding their campaign without accepting outside monetary sources.
“You may have an idea on what kind of campaign you want to run, but once you accept donations then the campaign is run by a committee,” Riegsecker said. “Be prepared to take a stand and say no when necessary. If you are running for mayor, then you should be in charge of making sure flyers, advertisements, websites and radio commentaries meet your convictions, ideals and don’t make your heart/stomach ache. Don’t change who you are for the political party or the chance to win. If the party wants you, they should accept you for who you are and not who you may be able to become.”
So with all that knowledge about what it takes to run for a mayoral seat, should Goshen residents expect to see Riegsecker’s name pop up on the ballot when the next mayoral race rolls around? The answer, according to the man himself, is a resounding “No”.
“I hope that is clear enough,” Riegsecker said of his vocal lack of future mayoral prospects. “Several people have asked if I would step up again or make sure to leave my options open. I am the kind of person who knows no enemies, believes in helping others with a hand up, not a hand out, and believes we should not judge. That does not seem to be the way the world operates anymore. Politics, other’s perceptions and the media can make you into someone who you are really not. I have gained most of my friends back and I intend to keep it that way.”