Following his resignation announcement on Wednesday, March 22, Mayor Jeremy Stutsman has endorsed Gina Leichty as the candidate of choice to fulfill his term and run for office in the fall municipal election in 2023. The following news release was issued regarding Stutsman’s pick:
“Over the last few years, Gina Leichty and I have worked closely on various projects, and I’ve encouraged her to consider running for office. She has strong community connections, spent years bringing people together, demonstrates strong organization and leadership skills, and will keep the city management team together,” said Stutsman. “Like me, Gina is less interested in politics than in working together to get the job done. Undoubtedly, she will help take Goshen to a more prosperous, inclusive, and vibrant future. I proudly stand beside her and offer my full support to ensure the Democrat precinct chairs will nominate her to become Goshen’s next mayor and replace me on the ballot this fall.”
Leichty acknowledges that she has accepted Stutsman’s invitation and is stepping forward to serve as Mayor of the City of Goshen.
“The nomination to complete Mayor Stutsman’s term is a tremendous honor, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity. I recognize the Mayor’s unexpected departure from the office presents complex responses for many of us – myself included,” Leichty said. “Over the past eight years, I’ve seen Goshen take tremendous strides under Mayor Stutsman’s leadership. The economic, environmental, and quality of place initiatives he’s developed have positioned Goshen for a bright future. His guidance through numerous challenges is a model for any future leader. While I understand and respect Jeremy’s need to conclude his term at this time – he will undoubtedly be missed.”
When asked what is most compelling about the role as Mayor, Leichty offered, “I’m fortunate to have spent almost two decades working alongside city staff and community leaders. Facing this unexpected change, I bring continuity, experience, and familiarity to the transition role. My primary reason for accepting the Mayor’s invitation is to ensure the good work initiated during his administration moves forward. My focus will be to ensure the smooth transition and steady continuation of the projects his management team has established. Changing course now is not the goal.”
“The community will have an opportunity in the future to choose whether to elect me to serve them. Until then, my guiding star will be to stay the course and guide the community effectively through this transition.”
Gina Leichty is a longtime resident of Goshen. She is a graduate of Goshen College with a Bachelor’s degree in English. Her vocational background includes eight years in not-for-profit leadership, seven years in corporate communications in the recreational vehicle and alternative energy manufacturing industries, and twelve years as an entrepreneur and co-owner of a marketing and corporate event-production firm, Eyedart Creative Studio, with her husband, Ben Stutzman. Gina has served on numerous boards and volunteer assignments throughout her career. Leichty is widely known for founding Goshen’s First Fridays program in 2007, which her firm continues to produce.
“Serving as Goshen’s mayor will bring together experiences I’ve developed in business administration, communications, and community development. I’m excited about the opportunity to leverage that experience and serve as a strong advocate for Goshen.
The Democratic precinct chairs will caucus according to state law and the rules of the Indiana Democratic Party to select Mayor Stutsman’s successor. Starting immediately, Leichty and Stutsman are working jointly with a transition team to formalize a 100-day plan to guide the city’s leadership transition and guide the future mayor’s work.
“While awaiting the precinct chairs’ vote, we’re not losing a moment to prepare for the upcoming transition,” said Leichty. “Goshen deserves the best, and I’m fully committed to ensuring that our City continues to be the place we’re so proud to call home.”
Leichty is widely known for founding Goshen’s First Fridays program in 2007, which her firm continues to produce. As this will obviously be a conflict of interest when she becomes mayor, they can start the 100-day plan finding a new company to produce the First Fridays program.