Incumbent village commissioner Maria Maxham and commissioner candidate Joe Landgrebe will be doing campaign kickoff fundraisers at two different Madison Street bars one week apart – but they will both be supporting each other.

Maxham is holding her fundraiser on Feb. 1 at Duffy’s Tavern, 7513 Madison St., from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Landgrebe will be hosting his fundraiser on Feb. 8 at Shanahan’s Bar, 7353 Madison St., from 5:30 pm. to 7:30 p.m. This is a first for both candidates, since neither of them ran for office before.  Maxham was appointed to her seat on July 14, 2021. 

It is also a fraught occasion for the incumbent. While she planned to hold a fundraiser last October at Shanahan’s, her father, Andrew Weiss, collapsed shortly before the event was scheduled to begin. He was rushed to the hospital and died later that evening. Maxham said it took time before she was ready to even plan a fundraiser, but she was looking forward to holding one now. 

This year, three incumbents (Maxham, Ryan Nero and Jessica Voogd) and three new candidates (Landgrebe, Ryan Russ and Michelle Melin-Rogovin) are running for four seats on the village council. The election will take place on April 4, with the seats going to the top four vote-getters. Unlike in 2019, none of the candidates are running in slates, but Melin-Rogovin previously expressed support for Maxham. 

Landgrebe is a real estate broker who previously told the Review that he has always been interested in politics and wanted to give back to Forest Park. Maxham served as the Forest Park Review’s editor and lead reporter prior to her appointment. 

Russ previously told the Review that he was planning to hold a fundraiser, but he was still trying to schedule a time. Melin-Rogovin held a fundraiser on Jan. 7 at Circle Bowling Lanes, 7244 Circle Ave., and she held several meet-and-greets over the past fall and winter, most recently on Jan. 28 at the Brown Cow Ice Cream Parlor, 7347 Madison St. 

Russ told the Review that he planned to have a “meet and great/fundraiser” sometime in mid-February, but he hasn’t finalized the details. Voogd and Nero didn’t have any fundraisers scheduled as of Jan. 30. 

Both Landgrebe and Maxham said that Mayor Rory Hoskins will be at their fundraisers. Landgrebe said that “there will probably be some other candidates for commissioner,” but, when asked for specifics, he only mentioned Maxham. 

“I’m excited [about having my first campaign fundraiser], of course,” he said. “A little nervous, but yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”

Maxham said that, while it took time to get there, she was ready to hit the campaign trail.

“I’m excited to be doing it,” she said, adding that she expects it to be “pretty low-key” and that she looked forward to meeting supporters.

“It’s very expensive to run a campaign, so I’m in need of as much help as I can get,” Maxham added.