Park Ridge mayoral candidates ramp up campaigns
Challenger Larry Ryles, left, and Park Ridge Mayor David Schmidt
Updated: February 18, 2013 6:05AM
PARK RIDGE — Park Ridge mayor David Schmidt and challenger Larry Ryles have begun planning for their campaigns as they start off on the road to the April 9 election.
Both candidates say one of their first orders of business is to open an official campaign office in the city. Schmidt is preparing to open his headquarters at 2 S. Prairie Ave., with a grand opening event scheduled for Jan. 18, while Ryles indicated he is looking for a location in South Park.
Ryles said he has “some speaking engagements lined up” in the city — though the dates had not been finalized — as well as a private fundraiser scheduled for Jan. 13. In addition he is planning a “meet the candidate” event at the Pickwick Theatre, possibly in early February.
Ryles said he held a similar event in early December at an Uptown restaurant.
“My biggest plan is just hard work and getting out and meeting the people,” Ryles said. “We’ve made great strides already in getting my name out around town.”
Schmidt, who plans to attend some fundraising parties hosted by supporters, said he is looking ahead to participating in a debate hosted by the Park Ridge Chamber of Commerce in March. He added that he would like to take part in “at least a couple of town hall forums” with Ryles in order for the two candidates to establish where they stand on issues currently facing the city.
“I definitely want to debate Mr. Ryles,” Schmidt said. “I think it’s high time for him to come out and give specifics about some of his ideas.”
Schmidt also plans to do a lot of door-to-door campaigning and volunteers have signed up to assist him in this endeavor as well.
“It’s still the best way to get out and meet the people and find out what their concerns are,” Schmidt said.