Ballot takes shape for local elections
The April 2014 ballot for local elections is starting to take shape as candidates circulate their nomination papers. As of Friday, races were taking shape for City of Merrill, Lincoln County Board and Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education seats.
City of Merrill
For Merrill Mayor, incumbent Bill Bialecki will face challenger John Kaufman.
For city clerk, incumbent Bill Heideman will face challenger Stephanie Schwartzman.
Incumbent District 2 Alderman Steve Hass has filed a notice of non-candidacy. Running to succeed Hass are Pete Lokemoen and Michael Caylor Jr.
In District 3, incumbent Ryan Schwartzman had neither taken out nomination papers not filed a notice of non-candidacy; no other candidates have come forward for the District 3 seat. Schwartzman said he had initially not intended to run, but with the pending sale of his business he will run for re-election as a write-in candidate.
All other incumbent alderpersons are unopposed for re-election, including Chris Malm in District 1, Kandy Peterson in District 4, John Burgener in District 5, David Sukow in District 6, Rob Norton in District 7 and Anne Caylor in District 8.
For the newly-created position of Joint Municipal Court Judge, who will preside over municipal cases for the cities of Merrill and Tomahawk, two candidates have come forward. Merle (Jim) Sheridan, who currently serves as Merrill’s municipal judge, and retired Merrill police chief Ned Seubert, will run for the new bench.
Lincoln County Board
A few contested races are developing for Lincoln County Board seats.
District 3 incumbent Ray Bloomer has filed a notice of non-candidacy; no other candidates have filed to run for the seat. District 4 incumbent Jeff Hetfeld is being challenged by Corey Nowak. District 5 incumbent Frank Saal, Jr. faces a challenge from Garth Swanson. Rob Norton is challenging incumbent Greta Rusch in District 7, Julie Allen is challenging incumbent David Fox in District 19 and District 22 incumbent Graham Rankin is being challenged by Jolene Callahan. Also, District 10 incumbent Bruce Giese will not seek re-election. Running to replace Giese is Loretta Baughan.
All other incumbent supervisors are unopposed for re-election, including: Dan Caylor, District 1; Robert Weaver, District 2; Jeff Hetfeld, District 4; Patricia Woller, District 6; R. Wayne Plant, District 8; William Zietz, District 9; Hans Breitenmoser, Jr., District 11; Paul Gilk, District 12; James Alber, District 13; Robert Lussow, District 14; Robert Lee, District 15; Michael Loka, District 16; Donald Nelson, District 17; John Bailey, District 18; Carl Vander Sanden, District 20; and Courtney Pike, District 21.
Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education
School Board seats currently held by Eugene Bondioli, Brad Geiss, Loretta Baughan and Linda Yingling are up for election in April 2014.
Geiss and Bondiolo have filed notices of non-candidacy, stating they will not seek re-election. Both Baughan and Yingling will seek re-election. They will be joined on the ballot by challengers Kevin Blake, Jeff Hetfeld, Eric Geiss, Bill Fehrmann and Jeremy Ratliff.