Mark Peterson: Feeling it's his time to lead city

2012-10-28T00:00:00Z 2013-01-31T10:01:05Z Mark Peterson: Feeling it's his time to lead cityBy Mary Juhl mary.juhl@winonadailynews.com Winona Daily News

Mark Peterson has had the same aspiration on his mind for years: lead the city of Winona as mayor.

He wanted to wait for the right time. And when Winona Mayor Jerry Miller announced his intent to retire earlier this year, Peterson knew his moment had come.

“I had no interest in running against Jerry Miller, because he has done a good job and I have a lot of respect for Jerry Miller,” Peterson said.

“I hope I can do as good of a job as he did,” he added.

Peterson, executive director of the Winona County Historical Society, said his first experience running for public office has so far been one thing he hoped — fun.

“When I started, I thought, if this isn’t fun, I don’t really want to do it,” Peterson said. “I have to say it’s been a lot of fun.”

Peterson, a political newcomer, said his knowledge of the community and involvement with local groups makes him qualified for the job.

“I’m not starting from a position where I’m an unknown by any means,” Peterson said. “I think people know me as somebody whose been involved in the community. I’ve been a leader in many ways.”

Originally from Mankato, Minn., Peterson moved to Winona with his family in 1983. He’s been active in a number of community organizations and groups, including the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission, the Winona Convention and Visitors Bureau (now called Visit Winona), and the Chamber of Commerce centennial committee. In addition to his work at the historical society, he is an adjunct history professor at Winona State University.

Peterson said one of the most rewarding parts about campaigning has been the response from supporters — those waving signs at parades,  students asking questions at a forum held at Winona Middle school and neighbors calling with supportive words.

“Those are sort of the feel-good moments that keep you knocking on doors,” Peterson said. “It’s hot out, and your feet hurt, but you just keep going because someone is excited you’re running and they believe in you.”

Peterson plans to spend election night at the Ground Round in Winona, where he’s hosting a party to gather friends, family, and volunteers by his side as the results come in.

“Win or lose, it’s been a great experience,” Peterson said.

Copyright 2015 Winona Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. LAX
    Report Abuse
    LAX - October 28, 2012 9:58 pm
    As a Winona native and WSU grad who now lives in La Crosse if I lived in Winona I would certainly vote for Mark. His work at the Historical Society and with other community organizations and projects has been outstanding. His managememnt of the History Center addition is an excellent example of his excellent work and ability to get things done. He would be a terrific mayor for Winona! Winonans would do well to vote for Mark!
  2. Bluemoon13
    Report Abuse
    Bluemoon13 - October 28, 2012 10:37 am
    Perhaps you should ask Mark about some of the deals that went on to get that addition...
  3. myislandcity
    Report Abuse
    myislandcity - October 28, 2012 5:15 am
    A vote for Mark is a vote in the correct direction, but we must as a community make sure that he aggressively pursues the real issues that effect us and start to fix the years of dilly-dally by Jerry.

    There are so many hot button issues and so many things that need fixing that we can not be blindsided by the big ticket items...frac sand, the bridge, an overpass at Mankato and Mark, the 30% rule, alternate side parking...the list goes on and those are just the big things...

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