Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) --- Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen announced Monday morning that he will be seeking reelection in April, and he's taking grassroots campaigning to the next level.
Mayor Hagen won't be accepting campaign funding from the public, nor will he be spending his own money. He says the race for Mayor should not be a popularity contest, or one to outspend each other.
Instead, he plans to focus on his past and present achievements during his last four years in office.
Superior Mayor Bruce Hagen made his announcement first thing Monday morning, wife by his side, that he’ll seek reelection.
As for why he decided to announce his decision to seek another term so early, Mayor Hagen said the reasoning was two–fold.
First, he said the vision and unquestionable success that has been witnessed during his latest term, cannot be overlooked. He cites the retention, and expansion, of Exodus Machines as one example.
"Unlike decade after decade of high unemployment, Superior is no longer the community that leads the pack in unemployment and fewer job opportunities," said Hagen during his announcement at the Superior Government Center.
Secondly, Mayor Hagen said it's important to provide sufficient time for the public to go over each candidate, including himself, with a fine–tooth comb, and determine for themselves each candidate's strengths and weaknesses.
"I think that's the right thing to do, I think it's a positive thing to do. And I think it will absolutely help in generating a good discussion of what we aspire to, and where we go."
Alisa Von Hagel, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin Superior, says it's not uncommon to see such a frugal, grassroots approach to a local government race.
"But to really go out of his way to emphasize that he's not seeking donations, that he's actively, sort of repelling any money coming his way is unique," said Von Hagel, "and something I think that speaks to his confidence with his legacy."
And while Mayor Hagen's legacy has included outspoken support for the industrial history that helped establish Superior, a growing environmental group has been equally outspoken, against some of the business plans the mayor supports, like shipping oil out of the city and across Lake Superior.
"If either candidate can manage to not necessarily speak to one or the other, but find common ground--whether it's focusing on jobs but then also finding, or identifying, some key environmental issues, that will always be at the forefront," said Von Hagel.
As of now, no other candidates have officially stepped forward and announced their intention to challenge Mayor Hagen. But the mayor says he does expect some competition with announcements in the near future.
A huge part of Mayor Hagen's focus as Mayor has been to attract and retain young, employable professionals to the area through the promise of job security, and beautiful surroundings.
In order to get their attention, Von Hagel says a willingness to listen to their concerns, and perhaps incorporate social media into his campaign, could help.