Huntingburg mayoral candidates preparing for primary election

Huntingburg mayoral candidates preparing for primary election
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 7:02 PM CDT
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DUBOIS CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Less than a week from the primary election, the race to see who’s going to represent the Republican ticket for Huntingburg mayor is heating up.

The incumbent, Mayor Steve Schwinghamer who has held his office since 2020, and his challenger, James Hopf, are looking to take over the position.

“If you’re ready for a change, I’m that guy for change,” says Hopf, “we’re not going to continue to stay stagnant in Huntingburg. We’re not going to continue with the ‘good ole boy’ system, and how things have always been.”

“I don’t just talk the talk. I walk the walk, so to speak. I don’t promise things that I can’t fulfill. I don’t say things that I can’t do,” says Schwinghamer.

14 News asked both candidates if they were elected, what can the people of Huntingburg expect right away?

“It’s just a matter of continuing to do the things we’ve been doing, adding the things that we can add as we go, but still be fiscally responsible, the fact is we can’t just automatically do everything at one time,” says Schwinghamer.

“You’re going to see a lot more involvement with myself as mayor, out in the community, getting to know our business owners, getting out to know the individuals in general here in Huntingburg, Indiana,” says Hopf.

It’s no secret that Huntingburg is a home for business big and small, from the west side of town where OFS and Styline trucks dominate the scenery to Fourth Street, where small shops and restaurants offer a chance for residents to shop and unwind.

14 News asked what each candidate planned to do to not only keep business on track, but expand it.

“I want to sit down and say, what do you guys think that we can do differently as an involvement of leadership out of them? What can maybe we change a little bit on Fourth Street where it can bring more people onto Fourth Street,” says Hopf.

“Housing is a big part of that too. Obviously with some of the properties that we now have, we’re now working with developers to try to get them to come to the location, which ought to benefit businesses to come here because they’re going to have to have people to work them,” says Schwinghamer.

We also asked both candidates, “If I were a voter and I was on the fence between you two, why should I vote for you?”

“When I say things I can do, I’m going to get them done,” says Schwinghamer, “and I think two-and-a-half years probably shows that. For a two-and-a-half years period of time, I think we’ve got accomplished, and I think we’ve got a lot more still to do.”

“I’m going to be going door-to-door, letting people know, ‘Hey, what can we do to help you?’ and continue to be a vital part of Huntingburg, Indiana,” says Hopf.

Hopf and Schwinghammer are currently the only candidates who have declared to run, so unless another person jumps in for another party, the winner on May 2 could very well be the new mayor of Huntingburg.