By Leah Sander
WINONA LAKE — There’s a contested race in Winona Lake for the May primary.
Current Winona Lake Clerk-Treasurer Laurie Renier has a challenger in Heather James. Both are running as Republicans, with James opting to not seek another term representing Ward 4 on the Winona Lake Town Council.
“I enjoy the community and want to better serve the community,” said Renier of why she’s running for her first full term as clerk-treasurer. She was caucused in to the role in 2022.
James said she opted to not run for a second full council term due to wanting to be clerk-treasurer for some time, now feeling as if the opportunity is right to run for the latter position.
“I just think Winona has a good reputation of being fiscally responsible, providing good public safety, good park programming, and (being) a great place to live and so I want to continue those traditions,” she said. “I think we have good people in place in the leadership roles of those programs and I want to make sure that they have the resources that they need to be able to continue to do their job effectively and make Winona great for all of us.”
James was caucused in to the Winona Lake Town Council in 2017.
Also up for election and running unopposed are Austin Reynolds, Ashley McGinnis and Barry Andrew. They are running as Republicans for Ward 1, Ward 2 and Ward 4 on the Winona Lake Town Council respectively.
Reynolds and McGinnis are incumbents, but seeking their first full terms as they were caucused in, with Reynolds joining the council in 2021 and McGinnis in 2022.
Reynolds said he’s “really enjoyed my time serving on the council,” and wants to continue doing so. McGinnis noted she’s just started serving through the council and wants to work to get stuff done.
Andrew is seeking his first term on the council.
“The growth in Winona Lake … has been exciting,” he said in a press release. “From the trail system to Limitless Park, and now the Miller Sunset Pavilion, a lot of hard work has been put into our community. I want to continue to support this mission, but also help, support and continue growth in Winona Lake.”