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La Crosse mayor won't seek second term

City of La Crosse Mayor Matt Harter announced Friday morning he will not seek a second term.

He became the youngest mayor in the city when he took office at age 24 in April 2009.

During a Friday morning news conference, Mayor Harter said he decided not to seek a second term after talking with family, friends and his colleagues.

"Taking the best interest of the community in mind, at this point, I feel it's best for someone else to serve the office over the next four years," Mayor Harter said.


Throughout his time in office, the mayor and the City Council have had a rocky relationship. Harter said electing a new mayor will "provide the opportunity for a fresh start."

"A lot of the incumbents on the council and myself have had differences," Mayor Harter said. "I really feel that over the next four years, the council, being in the position that they are now, working with someone else in the mayor's office, I think more progress will be made and more will get done."

When asked about his major accomplishments while in office, Mayor Harter said he and the council have "held a very strong course on keeping spending in check."

Harter said there are several things he would like to keep working on and hopes the new mayor makes them priorities, including the development of the Mobil Oil site, addressing the large amount of tax-exempt property in the city, and continuing to keep spending in check.

"I'm very confident that the community will continue to speak up, guide their counsel in the right direction, guide their mayor in the right direction and overall the people will guide their own city in the right direction," Mayor Harter said.

When asked what he plans to do after his time in office is complete, Harter said he plans to "fade out of public office for a little bit. Go back and work a normal job and make sure that I keep in touch."

Harter said he would consider running for a higher office at some point in the future, but right now he's focused on finishing up his term as mayor.

"I will continue to do all that I can to support the city in every shape and fashion that I can," he said.

Mayor Harter said he is not going to endorse a candidate at this point. So far, only one candidate has declared their intention to run. Randy Magno declared in June. The mayoral election is next April.


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