Interview with Aaron R. Guenther and Russ Otten
In January, 2023, Russ Otten, Chair of the Republican Party of Sheboygan County, sat down with Aaron R. Guenther, candidate for Alderman in District 1 in the City of Sheboygan, to discuss Aaron’s campaign and key details that voters will want to know.
R: Aaron, why are you running for the Common Council?
A: I just feel like it’s my time and that there is no one better to fill the position right now. In the past, the incumbent ran unopposed. I don’t think that is healthy for the city. I am a business person who meets a lot of people. I work hard, and I care about my community and my neighborhood. I want Sheboygan to be the best that it can be. Contrary to many views today, the world needs strong men who lead and are unafraid to step forward and initiate change for good.
R: What in your background qualifies you to serve in local government?
A: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration which is directly related to managing government. I served on a local fire department, both as a volunteer and in a paid position. I studied and interned in law enforcement in college. I’ve been in house fires and been on fire., I served on an ambulance and in the ER as a tech. I’ve been a business owner, managed a budget, and know how to manage priorities with limited resources. I’ve traveled, served, and have a lot of experience in many industries across professions. I’m empathetic and kind; yet, I tell it like it is. I think Sheboygan will find it refreshing to elect someone who is not a career politician.
R: What should citizens expect of you as their Alderman? What type of leader would you be?
A: I am pro-business. I listen a lot and try to understand the perspective of the person coming to me with a problem. I focus on what is really going on and what steps I can take to improve or correct the issue. For Sheboygan, I am a person who will take your phone call, return your email, and actually work to find a solution. I value openness, honesty, and work with integrity.
R: What do you think the local government employees would think of you as their Alderman? Should they be fearful of cuts or looking forward to additional support?
A: I think Sheboygan has done a great job in so many respects, from our DPW to our Police and Fire Departments. I certainly don’t want to cut services. I want our leaders to have the resources they need in a place where good people stay and are comfortable serving here. I want them to love this community like I do. That being said, I am for reasonable spending, which can be a moving target. I am for less intrusive government as a traditional conservative. Many problems can be handled by neighbors just talking to and working with their neighbors. It should not be the business of local government to be involved in the affairs of everyone and everything.
R: What do you have to say about the objective of the city to be inclusive and diverse?
A: The council certainly needs additional diversity. I am a white male conservative Christian. This perspective definitely needs to be represented. Currently, we have 8 of 10 Common Council members that are in lock-step, agree, and force through whatever their agenda is. That is not diversity! That is not a representative republic! And that is not democracy! That needs to change. Operating local government in secret is illegal, and it leads to corruption. Corruption leads to oppression. Oppression leads to tyranny. This cycle has been repeated in history time and time