Sindelar will challenge Bender in mayor's race

Former New Prague Mayor Craig S. Sindelar will challenge incumbent Mayor Bink Bender in the November city elections. They will join six candidates who will seek to fill two four-year terms on the city council.

The filing period for city offices ended Tuesday, Sept. 9. The general election will be held Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Sindelar served as mayor from 1991 to 1996, and lost in a four-way race to Bender in 2006. Bender is seeking a second two-year term.

Both Bender and Sindelar also served on the city council prior to being elected mayor.

With the decision by city council members Duane Jirik and Jim Kratochvil not to seek reelection, there are six candidates hoping to fill the two four-year posts. They include Rob Babione, Mark Bartusek, Ken Betterton, Blake Bredeson, Kristin Guerrette and Dick Jordan. Rod Tietz also filed, but withdrew Wednesday morning. Of those candidates, only one has served elective office in the area: Babione served one term on the city council, from 1993 to 1996.

The two members of the city council who are not up for election are Kay Wilcox and Jennifer Flicek.

Elko New Market

There are three candidates for mayor in Elko New Market, which will also hold its city elections in November. They are Laura Piehl, Mark Pollack and Jason Ponsonby. Ponsonby is currently a member of the city council, and previously served on the New Market City Council before Elko and New Market merged in 2007. Mayor Kent Hartzler did not file for another two-year term.

There are three seats on the ballot for the Elko New Market City Council. Two of them are four-year terms, being vacated by Ponsonby and Carolyn Miller. Candidates are Joseph Crawford, Bob Hanna, Eric Kulig, Eric Luxmore, Denise Schneider and Brad Smith.

There is also a two-year term on the ballot. Jim Friedges was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Josh Storlie earlier this year. Friedges, a former mayor of New Market, has filed to fill the remainder of the term, and is being challenged by Steve Schultz.


City Clerk Millie Odenthal reports that one candidate, Steve Smisek, has filed for a four-year term as mayor in the small city located in Le Sueur County between New Prague and Montgomery. Melvin Hinderscheit has filed for another four-year term on the city council. Both are unopposed.

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