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Heitke elected to office in National League of Cities

WILLMAR -- Willmar Mayor Les Heitke has been elected second vice president of the National League of Cities for 2009-2010.

According to a news release, Heitke was elected by unanimous consent at the organization's Congress of Cities in San Antonio this past weekend.

The League of Minnesota Cities had endorsed Heitke's candidacy for second vice president and assisted with support and staffing for his campaign. Heitke is a past president of the League of Minnesota Cities and currently serves as chairman of the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust.

The National League of Cities is the nation's oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cit-ies as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. It is a resource and advocate for 19,000 U.S. cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

Heitke has been involved in the National League of Cities for more than a decade, leading committees that set national policy on topics including public safety. In the officer succession process, the second vice president is eventually elected to the position of first vice president and then to the position of president. That would put Heitke in the rotation to serve as National League of Cities president for 2011-12.

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson wrote in a letter supporting Heitke's candidacy that he "understands the needs of communities and the importance of working with state, federal and private-sector leaders to get things done for the people he and I both serve." U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Sen. Norm Coleman, and municipal leaders from across the country also wrote letters of support.

-- Staff reports