Lueken ‘grateful’ for District 3 win

Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Newly-elected District 3 Councilman Chad Lueken, left, checks his phone for updated results with his family during the Dubois County Republican election results party at Schnitz Pub in Jasper on Tuesday.


JASPER — To his knowledge, Chad Lueken was the only candidate whose kids waved oversized images of his face in the 2019 Strassenfest parade.

A couple of his youngest knocked on doors with him on his Jasper Common Council District 3 campaign trail.

Tuesday night, they all dressed in shirts that had Dad’s name printed across them.

Family is everything to Lueken. And as he prepares for his first term as the District 3 councilman, his primary focus will be on making Jasper a great place for them — and all children and young adults — to live when they grow up.

“Our dad won!” exclaimed his daughter, Landry, 7, after the results were announced.

Lueken — who is a Republican — defeated Democrat Daniel Kreilein by a count of 411-87 in Tuesday’s election. Republican incumbent John Bell will step down at the end of his current term.

“I guess the word is overwhelmed,” Lueken said just before the announcement was officially made. “Grateful is another word. And that’s how I feel. Overwhelmed and grateful at the same time.”

Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Daniel Kreilein Jr., 1, of Jasper, leans on his father, Daniel Kreilein, who ran for the Jasper District 3 council seat and lost to Republican Chad Lueken, during the Dubois County Democrats election results party at the Knights of Columbus in Jasper on Tuesday.

He ran on a platform that valued fiscal responsibility, budget integrity and being a good guardian and steward of taxpayer dollars. Public safety, quality of place and ensuring the city benefits from the construction of the Mid-States Corridor are also important to him.

“Jasper’s been good to me, and I want it to be good for everybody,” Lueken said. “I want it to continue to be good for everybody.”

His opponent, Kreilein, said he grew during his first run for public office. Some might be discouraged by the amount of votes he received — but not him.

“The amount of votes that I got, I’m overwhelmed by the support that I actually had,” Kreilein said. He explained he had a rough estimate of how many people he thought would vote for him, and that total exceeded his expectations.

He knew going in that it “wasn’t gonna be pretty.” But he also saw his campaign as a way to test the waters and plan for a future run. He already has his sights set on the District 3 race in 2023.

“It was more or less just to get my feet wet and figure out if I can actually do it,” he said. “And more or less just sort of tell myself that if I can do this and get 20 votes, I’m at least stepping out of my comfort zone or whatever and actually doing it. Versus staying behind the scenes and more or less not doing anything.”

He tried to make a difference, and that means something.

Both Lueken and Kreilein spoke highly of each other after the results were made public. Lueken commended Kreilein for getting his name out there at a young age. (Kreilein is 27). Kreilein said his opponent ran a clean campaign, and he plans on contacting Lueken during his term to share his opinions on issues.

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