The Maglinger name is well-known in Owensboro, but that wasn’t the biggest factor behind Larry Maglinger’s Nov. 6 city commission win. In fact, it might’ve been good old-fashioned hard work that secured Maglinger’s position as, not only one of four 2018 city commissioners, but the top vote-getter in a race that featured a record-setting 12 candidates.
Maglinger secured 7,962 votes — 708 more votes than incumbent Pamela Smith-Wright, a city commissioner going on her fifth term, who followed behind Maglinger with 7,254 votes. Incumbent Larry Conder followed Smith-Wright with 6,787 votes.
“I didn’t expect to win the most votes. But, you know, I started walking to precincts about 9 weeks prior and started meeting a lot of people, and I started listening to a lot of views,” Maglinger said.
City Manager Nate Pagan said that, historically, Owensboro has appointed the commissioner with the most votes as Mayor Pro Tem, meaning Maglinger will also step in as mayor should the need ever arise.
Maglinger’s involvement in the community has been prevalent before, during and after the election. According to Mayor Tom Watson, Maglinger can be found at most city commission meetings, ribbon-cutting ceremonies, or even just walking around and getting to know the community, politicians and business owners on a daily basis.
“I wanted to help the community,” Maglinger said of his candidacy. “This city has been great to me and my family.”
A business owner for over 40 years, Maglinger also brings a wealth of experience and business knowledge to the city commission. Maglinger said he started his first business — Maglinger Recording — when he was only 17 years old. Since 1976, Maglinger has been running Custom-Audio Video, which was one of the first locally-owned companies in Owensboro to provide professional audio, commercial video and business telephone systems.
“I understand budgets. I understand financial statements,” Maglinger said.
Mayor Watson agrees that Maglinger’s background in business will be beneficial to the city commission, as one of its key purposes is to balance the city’s budget and spending.
“He brings the knowledge of running a business in the private sector,” Watson said. “That’s very helpful.”
Even more, Watson believes Maglinger’s enthusiasm for this position shows how much he cares about Owensboro.
“I couldn’t predict the election. You know, you have 12 candidates and they’re fighting for four slots, and name recognition really helps,” Watson said. “But he got out and really worked, and so I’m happy for him.”
Part of Maglinger’s focus during the election was on fiscal responsibility when it came to the city’s budget. As for spending on downtown development, Maglinger said he supports the growth of downtown Owensboro in that it also benefits the private sector.
“I think downtown is a big asset, and it’s going to be for a long time,” Maglinger said. “The downtown infrastructure has allowed the private investments to create more revenue. They’re [consumers] already spending millions, and they’ll spend millions more.”
But downtown isn’t Maglinger’s only focus for growth. He’d like to see Owensboro’s west side get some much-needed attention after the last several years of being largely focused on downtown Owensboro and its east end.
“I want to see it [growth] go west. We’ve worked with the Triplett area–it’s time to go west now,” Maglinger said. “I want to see the city be business-friendly. I’m looking forward to seeing this city grow.”