Council member Gallagher will challenge Geraghty in Newport mayor's race; Ingemann, Sumner say they'll seek re-electionSaying Newport needs new leadership that will aggressively seek new ways to grow the city, first-term City Council member Steven Gallagher said this week he will challenge Mayor Tim Geraghty in the fall election.
Saying Newport needs new leadership that will aggressively seek new ways to grow the city, first-term City Council member Steven Gallagher said this week he will challenge Mayor Tim Geraghty in the fall election.
With a city government that he said has been “factionalized” into opposing camps for years, Gallagher says the city isn’t looking far enough ahead in planning for its future. Newport, he asserted in an interview, needs a new direction.
“We’ve had the same leadership in this city for so long we’ve become stagnant,” Gallagher said. “Now is the time to have some fresh, professional leadership who can take the next step for the city.”
Gallagher, 37, has lived in the city for six years and was elected to the City Council in 2010 after serving on the city’s Planning Commission. He said his experience dealing with grant dollars, real estate developers and a maze of state and local government agencies as the executive director of a Minneapolis neighborhood community organization make him an ideal leader and salesperson for Newport.
During his campaign to re-take the mayor’s gavel in 2008, Geraghty – who, prior to his current term, served as mayor from 1993-2000 and has been on the council for almost three decades – argued the city of Newport wasn’t building strong enough relationships with the city’s businesses or listening to its residents.
Earlier this year, Geraghty defended his and the city’s record on economic development, saying, “I’m not sure anyone is doing better than us.”
Gallagher said he doesn’t agree. The city still isn’t listening to its residents, he said, and isn’t promoting itself aggressively enough. That hurts both Newport’s chances to grow economically as well as its current business owners, Gallagher said.
“We need new, fresh ideas,” he said. “We’re a stable community. We need to look forward.”
Council incumbents Ingemann, Sumner file for re-election
Newport voters will also see the names of incumbent council members Tom Ingemann and Bill Sumner on the ballot come Nov. 6. Both council members filed for office this week shortly after the filing period opened Tuesday morning.
Ingemann is nearing the end of his second, non-consecutive term on the council. He was elected to one council term in the 1990s. Sumner will be seeking his second term in November.
Candidates can file to run for local office through Aug. 14.