Former La Crosse mayor John Medinger said he will seek to regain his old job in 2013 after eight years away from the post.

Medinger, 64, confirmed Tuesday he will formally announce his mayoral candidacy later this week or early next.

“I’m excited about it,” Medinger said. “I think my experience and leadership skills will serve the city well.”

Medinger was in the state Assembly for 16 years before winning a mayoral election in 1997 against seven candidates. He won a second term in 2001 with more than 70 percent of the vote.

But Medinger bowed out in 2005, saying he was tired physically and mentally after almost a quarter-century in state and local office.

He became a staff assistant in La Crosse for U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin, in April 2006, a position that’s about to end with Kohl’s retirement.

His presence will change the dynamics of the mayor’s race, said Joe Heim, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

With his name recognition and past political success, “he very clearly would be considered the front runner,” Heim said.

While incumbent Mayor Matt Harter’s decision not to seek a second term could have made for a large field, this likely will convince some prospective candidates to stay out, Heim said.

But Medinger’s Democratic affiliations also might spur a Republican-leaning or conservative candidate to step forward, even though mayor is a nonpartisan office, Heim said.

Only two candidates have declared so far: Randy Magno, the former chairman of the Washburn Neighborhood Association, and Randall Czapiewski.

Saturday was the first day candidates could begin gathering signatures on nomination papers, which must be filed by 5 p.m. Jan. 2 to get on the spring election ballot.

A Feb. 19 primary would be needed if more than two candidates emerge.

(57) comments

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

Do I have to run for da Mayor's job in La Crosse?

So far, I don't see any declared mayoral candidate that would really make a significant positive difference for the city of La Crosse over the next 4 years. The main issues are too high taxes and the blight of several neighborhoods, which will take a real leader to start to make a dent in reversing those trends that will eventually make La Crosse just like a mini Chicago or Milwaukee. And there should not be any homeless on the streets of our fair city, much less dead homeless found in a city residence, not even 1 soul.

A new mayor with leadership skills would be out front offering solutions to all these problems. We need a new mayor who can think outside the box. And cut out all the politically correct pontificating feel good speeches that solves nothing.

Oh, and for those who see racism under every bed, please be aware that I am Caucasian and was born in the Windy city. Go Bears!!!

Boots

I know John was doing a great job last time he was in office and has a lot of political background so is the logical person for this position.

lutefisk

saw his photo....geesh..I thought my health was bad

ThaTruth

Boooo

pheasant

You dim-wits have not been able to figure out that Medinger is not intending to carry out the normal/historical duties of mayor. Just another income! Kader, Swantz, Widahl, Johnson, Sequist, etc. cannot wait to take another kick at the can. The 'Can' is a City Administrator. Another WRS overpaid/benefited that will fall their Brothers way. Another millionaire that we will make with Tax Dollars. The only upside is that he/she might realize our Bookkeeping System is a ruse, fix it, then Kirch and his spending spree will be scrutinized........accurately.

He has no intention of being what we have known as 'Mayor'.

retiredone

Let's hope someone publicly asks Medinger about his personal experiences in creating and following a budget for a governmental unit.

Napoleon
Napoleon

Medinger is the smart choice for mayor... he has my vote!

retiredone

Having a vote from Nap Bonehead is reason enough to support ANYONE else. With a supporter like Bonehead, Medinger doesn't need any enemies. Maybe Bonehead can go door to door for Medinger??

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

I don't think residents of Trempealeau have a vote.

Nelsonian

Great choice if you like career bureaucrats. But this is going to be the "Vote The Bums Out" season. Medinger by his lifetime in public office (on the dole) is one of the bums.

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

It will be a wasted vote Frenchie...

Gambrinus
Gambrinus

Medinger put a good face on La Crosse and could be counted on to bring out the best in Octoberfest. I liked Harter too but for different reasons. Harter thwarted unlimited spending. The biggest challenge , aside from budget, that the next mayor of La Cross will have is to reign in the recent wave of violent crime. Ending housing subsidies, except for the elderly, would be a start.

HonestAbe
HonestAbe

Little Greg Luce is going to be against this of course, he just drips of republican LOL

even though the mayor is bipartisan .... Little Greg will think it matters. That's the only reason he was "rah rah rah Harter" and "boo boo boo Kader".

I agree, Kader is not a good leader for this city, she micromanages beyond belief, but her party doesn't matter to me.

Greg Luce, Mr.T (party) ..... get a life and stfu. (hiding behind many names on here btw)

HonestAbe
HonestAbe

John, you have my vote. Always a smile and and a pleasantry when passing him on the sidewalk, and I .... was a stranger. He's very community minded and is a great choice.

Johnsrud was a travesty and I think Matt got over his head a bit, although he tried to do the right thing.

I only home Kader goes away, Medinger has a seat, and we can get down to actual business instead of debating miniscule stuff that doesn't matter, like traffic circles.

Petros land, Holiday Inn land ... 2 gold mines sitting collecting dust. Either one of those sites could be a bustling business of some sort. Our city would be doing fine financially if the casino had been voted in on Barron Island, the reason that was voted down, simply, is because the indians would have OWNED the land.

Anyway, glad to hear you will be back John, it offers a lot of hope for this town where people are leaving in droves. (count the amount of houses for sale or auction)

Michael Welch

It seems like a good idea to again have an "adult" as mayor of the city?...

pheasant

This fellow lives in AZ???? LOL!

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

Another of his meritless posts. While collecting for a "disability". I guess we know who's logo is on his check.

allcav

It's really very simple. With Herb Kohl retiring, Medinger needs a job. It cannot be overlooked that he did a mediocre job as mayor before, personifying the "strong council -- weak mayor" type of government we have in La Crosse. He never proposed a budget -- this was first done by Johnsrud -- and I doubt he has the skills to do so. It's apparent he can't stand the heat in the kitchen if he left the mayoral position because of physical and mental tiredness. I remember when Pat retired and Medinger came in. The slate at that time included every form of creature one could imagine, none to be taken that seriously.

retiredone

Good read on Medinger. He's about to be unemployed and is too young for social security and medicare. Wasn't it Harry Truman who said "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen"? Medinger vocalized before that so why should we think he will be different now? Hope someone else with some guts runs.

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

Medinger will be 65 about the time he takes oath of office. I'm pretty sure he could retire dolt.

pianomanblue

How bad is your memory. It was John Medinger who brought the trash to this city. He invited them and they came and came. They were invited. Please look to another leader. This city is begging you voters. He had his good points, but his faults were too destructive. We don't neen another politian...we need a person who will have the strength to lead LaCrosse through what are sure to be even harder times ahead.

Opus
Opus

"trash"? What are you referring to? Is this a not so veiled racist remark? or are you talking about Harter's or one of the other refuse haulers?+

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

Opus, 'trash' has nothing to do with race...stop the race baiting.

Nelsonian

I would like to know more having not been here when Medinger was mayor. Did he start some program to bring Chicago/Milwaukee criminals here because we had better "social programs"? I have always had the feeling there was some contrived effort to import minorities to La Crosse.

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

John is a great guy and all that stuff, but unless his philosophy of governing is different than before, taxes will go up if we are foolish enough to elect him as da Mayor once again.

Blisswhacked

I rejoice in the possibility that we will again have an adult at the helm instead of a simple minded inarticulate easily manipulated amateur. Hurray!!! Thank you John!!!

pheasant

Spoken by anonymous coward? LOL!!!!! Now there is commitment, NOT!

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

Try again...Medinger is not running.

TeapartiesR4L'ilGirls

Medinger will be a nice change from the dysfunction resulting from a mayor who has no leadership skills and cannot work with the council or staff. Whether or not the mayor agrees or disagrees with the majority of the council or staff most of the time is not relevant. Leadership is what is most important and has been lacking at City Hall.

This is a welcome possibility.

pheasant

Leadership is at City Hall. Was during Medinger though Harter. But it's unbrilded and covert. His name is Kirch. The problem is that nobody has had the kahungas to sit him down, go over his job description with him. Then have him nod in acknowledgement that he now understands..

lookout

Pheasant: You should go for the job. You seem to know everything about it, plus the fact that nobody's good enough for the job in your eyes you should win hands down. So that said, put your money where your mouth is, be brave, step outside of this Tribune talk show they have going on here. After all you must truely think your better than the rest. I put the task in your hands. Prove us wrong and try out for the job. If you do a good job you have bragging rights.. But if you do a crappy job, we trash you. Everything always looks so easy from the outside. It's easy for people to bitchh. But it's hard when you have to back up you complaints, by standing tall, doing a better job than the one you bitchhing about.

pheasant

I am broghter than both of them. I see more clearly their pitfalls and shortcomings, and I also have Meneire's. I mean come on! They both sat mute with there time in the Mayoral Seat not knwoing what anything cost? Duh Reply?

hammer

Peasant ran for office a few years back. He got 17 votes. It was funny!

Nelsonian

I can't follow what you are saying here. Pheasant should be mayor or city planner? I don't think you followed his post about Kirch being the out of control entity at City Hall.

There is currently a mechanism in place on the city website to get alert emails telling you what the mayor is going to be doing that day. How hard would it be to expand that to department heads like Kirch? Shouldn't the public know what they are doing each day and keep an eye on them?

allcav

Did he save his silly outfit for greeting river boats?

greatgeneration

Excellent news. John Medinger brings experience, probity, good sense, and a wider vision to the position. Having connections statewide and nationally can help La Crosse too. Besides all that John is someone genuinely concerned about all the citizens of the city. Thank you, John, for being willing to lead the city again.

Opus
Opus

Agreed, greatgeneration! This is what a REAL mayor looks like!

pheasant

I like John. But John will bring no private business experience, a life in government positions, a double dipper in benfits, and a bad habit of unbridled spending. Just like all the other posters on this Thread who like him running. If I am correct I will guess that he usehered in Dentice, Giessner, and early retirement health benfits. He also was one in a long line of City Hall people who sat mute while the terribly inadequate Bookkeeping System kept limping along. Very possibly by being inept and inexperienced in the first place? He may "look like" as Mayor to you, but he is a poor manager. We will know when we have a manger when that person places a bridle on Kirch. TRUTH!

OK123

This is great news. An experienced person who truly cares about this city. And best of all he will lead in city hall, unlike the puppet veto-master of the last four years!

gr8scot

finally! i can't think of a better person to get the City of La Crosse back on track!

retiredone

You are kidding--right?

takka

Padesky would be the only candidate with a chance to beat Medinger.

pheasant

Padesky is a clone. A City Worker who has taken part in pay/benfit packages for fellow WRS Brothers. Sitting acrosse the table from largely fellow WRS Brothers.

Nelsonian

This is what the city deserves I guess. Another career politician/bureaucrat. You all sat back and allowed Audrey Kader to undermine Harter for 4 years. You had a young honest mayor who respected the taxpayers and their rights.

lookout

La Crosse seems to be doing just fine, compared to most cities. People who have to continuely see faults, and blast others, are the root of our problems. What ever happened to being proud to be an American? It seems all some people can do is cry, because things don't go their way. If people continuely try to tear things apart, we'll be left with a country that's broken.

pheasant

Lookout- YOUR benefits and job are guaranteed. Get out once in awhile and away from your Brother WRS Workers. Geeeezzzzzz!

america as founded
america as founded

Just what La Crosse needs. Another liberal democrat to ensure the decline of La Crosse. Of course La Crosse voters will elect him. They can't help themselves as evidenced by keeping the likes of Kind and Shilling in office. LaCrosse residents deserve the decay of their city. They're the ones who continue to vote for liberals. Further proof that "you can't fix stupid."

retiredone

Excellent post "america".

ChopChop
ChopChop

If you don't like where La Crosse, or the state, is going you can do all of us a favor and leave. No one is stopping. It's one of the great things about this country, everyone is free to find a place where the climate, local politics, etc align with their desire and move there. I suggest you start looking.

Sarah23

Another great thing about this country is freedom of speech. Everyone has a right to voice their opinion regardless of the fact that it doesn't match your's. One may like or enjoy the climate but not the politics. We can't have it all, now can we? It's everyone's right on this blog to voice their opinion. His opinion might be inline with other bloggers on this issue; just because it's not inline with your's, doesn't mean he should start looking...If you don't like it, too bad. That's life!

Nelsonian

Or... we can do something about it. La Crosse is losing it's productive residents at an alarming rate, and replacing them with minorities living off social programs. The average income in Onalaska is roughly DOUBLE that of La Crosse, and the disparity is growing daily. What exactly do you public sector folks think happens when there is no more productivity in La Crosse?

The La Crosse city government is taxing and regulating it's productive citizens out of town. ChopChop and the other Obama-zombies think that is great and there is some magic font of cash that will take care of them.

oz

Seems to me La Crosse did a lot more "declining" under the regimes of Johnsrud and the Boy Blunder. I say it's about time we get a competent mayor again.

Tim Russell
Tim Russell

I wasn't really ready to support him until I read this post. Anybody that can pi$$ off the conservatives that much deserves my support!

retiredone

Liberals will rejoice as Medinger, if elected, spends more and more of their money (and mine).

pheasant

Guess what logo is on Tim's check?

David Jarzemski
David Jarzemski

Good solid honest and accurate point.

KrustyV

Please, no.

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