Gina Leichty named next mayor of Goshen in Democratic Party caucus
There wasn’t much drama at the Goshen Public Library on Thursday when Democratic precinct chairs unanimously picked Gina Leichty to succeed Jeremy Stutsman in caucus to determine Goshen's next mayor.
Leichty was endorsed by Stutsman and was the only person to put their hat in the ring to serve out Stutsman’s term. Now Leichty, who runs a marketing firm with her husband, will take over the office on June 16.
Leichty’s accession to the mayor’s office comes after Stutsman announced his plans to resign to become the CEO of Lacasa in late March. Stutsman was on hand for Thursday’s caucus and expressed his support for his chosen successor.
“Gina Leichty is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful people I know,” Stutsman said. “I’m just really, really excited to see what she brings to Goshen. She’s going to bring pieces I don’t have.”
Leichty has past experience working in marketing for RV companies but is best known publicly for her involvement with the nonprofit Downtown Goshen, which organizes First Fridays each month in and around the city's center.
Leichty said her first goal upon taking office is to ensure a smooth transition. After that, she plans to invest in local business growth, infrastructure and public safety. If elected to a full four-year term, she said she also plans to develop a platform focused on quality of life improvements and amenities and to emphasize environmental disaster planning.
But Leicthy said what drove her to take on the role of mayor was the chance to build on the growth she’s seen during her time living in the city.
“After extensive soul searching, I did eventually arrive at yes,” Leicthy said. “And my reason’s simple. I’ve seen the dramatic power of a community that comes together to create positive change.”
Leichty will also be the Democratic nomination for mayor in this November’s general election, where she will face William Malone — a retired manufacturing plant manager who has volunteered with various nonprofits in Goshen.