Melissa Hammell is lone declared candidate on ballot for Lansing Mayor special election September 14

Melissa Hammell...
Melissa Hammell...

The City of Lansing will be holding a special election Tuesday, September 14 to elect a new mayor following the June resignation of Kyle Walleser from the mayoral office after a change in his employment would no longer allow him to fulfill the mayoral duties. With no candidate stepping forward to express interest in being appointed to the office within the designated timeframe for that option, the special election was called for.

Walleser had been elected in November of 2019 and served about a year and a half of Lansing’s four-year mayoral term. The newly-elected mayor will take office within 10 days of the official canvassing of Tuesday’s election results and then serve out the remainder of the current mayoral term through the year 2023.

There will be just one polling site for all City of Lansing residents to cast their vote during that September 14 election. Polls at Kerndt Brothers Bank Community Center in Lansing will be open from 7 a.m.- 8 p.m. that day. In-person absentee voting is available in the Allamakee County Auditor’s office at the Allamakee County Courthouse in Waukon now through 4 p.m. Monday, September 13 and can be done from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. any week day up until that deadline. For additional information on special election voting contact the Allamakee County Auditor’s office at 563-568-3522.

Voters will see just one declared candidate listed on Tuesday’s special election ballot, as area native and local business owner Melissa Hammell is the lone individual to file the paperwork to be listed as a candidate for that mayoral seat. There will also be a write-in space within that special election ballot, but as of press time for this edition there have been no write-in candidates who have made their intentions known for running for the office.

Hammell grew up in the Harpers Ferry area most of her life and married Nick Hammell, who grew up in the Lansing area. The couple has two daughters, including Isabelle, who is a freshman this year at Kee High School in Lansing, and Leona, who is in third grade at New Albin Elementary School.

The Hammells own the Safe House Saloon in Lansing, being in business for 13 years this October. Melissa also owns and operates her own hair salon, Simply Salon, a business she has been running for approximately the last 10 years.

“Because I have two children in the Eastern Allamakee School District, and own two businesses in Lansing, I have a vested interest in the town doing well,” Hammell said of her reasoning for running for mayor. “A big focus of mine will be supporting our local businesses and our school district in whatever ways I can. I hope to work with local groups, community members and businesses to take care of their needs, and find ways to streamline how we address concerns so we can more efficiently move forward and create positive change. If our businesses and schools thrive, our community thrives.”