Newcomers set sights on council’s District 3



JASPER — The race for Jasper’s District 3 Common Council seat is between two newcomers who have their sights set on pushing the city into the future. Republican Chad Lueken and Democrat Daniel A. Kreilein will face off for the seat, as Republican incumbent John Bell will step down at the end of his current term.

Lueken, 44, has worked as an insurance agent with Knights of Columbus Insurance in Jasper for two decades. He defeated Merrill Osterman in the spring’s primary election, and he’s running because Jasper has been good to him, and he wants to see that continue.

“I wanted to run for city council because I’m concerned about the future of our city,” Lueken said. “I really want to see Jasper remain a viable option for our kids and grandkids to come back and raise families of their own someday.”

Fiscal responsibility, budget integrity and being a good guardian and steward of taxpayer dollars are top priorities for Lueken. Public safety, quality of place and ensuring the city benefits from the construction of the Mid-States Corridor are also topics important to him.

He acknowledged that the city will face challenges in workforce attraction and expansion, and said that attracting young talent to the area is crucial.

“I think that’s gonna be the biggest, most important thing that we can focus on,” Lueken said. “In as much as government can do to promote that kind of population growth, that’s what we need to be focused on.”

If we’re not growing, we’re dying, Lueken later added. He believes he’s a good fit for the council seat because he takes the responsibility seriously, and also has 20 years of local business experience with area families.

Lueken and his wife, Yvonne, have nine children: Chloe, 20; Dallas, 18; Faustina, 16; Rockne, 14; Isaiah, 12; Tobias, 9; Landry, 7; Beatrice, 4; Olivia, 2.

His opponent, Kreilein, hopes to use his perspective as a 27-year-old man to bring a jolt of youth to the council.

“It’s about time for my generation to step up,” he said. “You look at the city council now, they’re all in their 40s, 50s, and maybe a little older. There’s nobody my age.”

Kreilein — who works full time at Leed Samples and Fulfilment and part-time at Primerica — stressed he has nothing against older generations, but he did say he would fill that age gap with fresh ideas. He’d like to push the city in new directions to solve problems like workforce attraction, population retention, and bringing high-paying jobs to the area. He’d also like to see a solar field brought to Jasper.

“Baby steps can turn into giant steps later on,” he said of the solar field. “The snowball effect, it takes the beginning steps to start it.”

Kreilein promised to keep his fellow council members in check and ensure dollars are being spent wisely. He also expressed concerns with the way that council members “shove” ordinances through, perhaps without proper research and consideration.

“I don’t like to waste taxpayers’ dollars on something that’s completely useless,” Kreilein said. “In order to be a better city, we have to improve at everything, not just the exact same stuff over and over again. We don’t need to waste money.”

Kreilein and his wife, Maci, have a 1-year-old son, Daniel A. Kreilein Jr.

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