Lifetime Sioux Falls resident Jim Entenman is running for mayor of Sioux Falls this coming Spring election. After studying political science in college, Entenman has been interested in politics his entire life.
He began his political career in the 1980s, serving on the city council in Brandon, S.D. for 15 years. After a short break, he was elected in 2010 to serve on the Sioux Falls City Council.
“You feel like you’ve truly helped your community,” Entenman said, reflecting on his time serving on the city council.
Entenman made his living selling Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. Starting in 1975 with his brother, the company J&L Harley-Davidson currently has over 100 full-time employees.
Although Entenman enjoyed owning the business, he has now handed the reins off to his two sons and is prepared to take on the roll as mayor.
“I believe my business is well taken care of by my sons,” Entenman said. “I have a passion to serve my community. I’m ready to make an eight year commitment (two terms).”
During his 42 years of selling motorcycles, Entenman has been through just about everything. From having record years in sales to refusing a paycheck so his employees could be paid, owning a business has humbled Entenman.
“In business, there’s a lot of ups and downs,” Entenman said. “I’ve seen a lot of good times and I’ve seen a lot of bad times.”
Because of the roller coaster ride that is owning one’s own business, Entenman believes he can use his experience to help the city of Sioux Falls.
“I know about budgeting,” Entenman said. “I’ve had to manage expenses.”
Entenman also added that there are similarities when it comes to the relationships he had with his customers compared to the relationships a mayor has with the citizens of the city.
“It’s all about developing relationships with people,” Entenman said. “You’ve got to be able to communicate.”
Entenman is connected to Augustana in multiple ways. Business Professor Jaciel Keltgen has been a friend of Entenman’s for a number of years and is thankful that he speaks to her business classes regularly.
“He has spoken to my class every semester for 19 years,” Keltgen said. “He has never told me no.”
In addition to speaking to Augustana students, Entenman’s wife and son both graduated from the university.
“It’s a great college in our community,” Entenman said. “I’m proud of the fact that I’m able to talk to some of the students. I’ve got a lot of friends at Augustana.”
There are currently eight individuals running for mayor of Sioux Falls.
Between now and the election in April, Entenman expects the candidate pool to grow.
Until then, Entenman wants to encourage and empower students to register and make their own decisions when it comes time to vote.
“Most of all, I believe that they [students] should look at all the candidates,” Entenman said. “And then make … [their] own decisions.”
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