Contested local races abound today in spring general election
As voters in Lincoln County take to the polls today, the 2018 Spring election will feature an array of contested races at both the city and the county levels.
The City of Merrill mayoral race will pit incumbent Bill Bialecki, who is seeking his third term, against challenger Derek Woellner. The Merrill City Clerk position will also be contested as incumbent Bill Heideman will face newcomer Patricia Lindquist. Heideman was first elected in 1998.
In the city’s Common Council races, 4th district incumbent Kandy Peterson was knocked off the ballot in the Feb. 20 primary. Challengers Steve Osness and Ron McAllister will face off for the seat on today’s ballot. Peterson has held the 4th district seat since 2010.
In the city’s third district, incumbent Ryan Schwartzman is seeking his fourth consecutive term, challenged by newcomer Eric Ott. Fifth District alderman and current council president John Burgener is challenged by newcomer John Van Lieshout. Sixth district alderwoman Mary Ball is not seeking re-election, setting the stage for former 6th district alderman Dave Sukow to step in for the seat unopposed.
Incumbents in the city’s 1st (Paul Russell), 2nd (Pete Lokemoen), 7th (Rob Norton) and 8th districts (Tim Meehean) will stand unopposed for another two-year term.
Ron Liberty is the sole candidate for the city’s newly resurrected Street and Weed Commissioner position.
MAPS Board of Education
The MAPS School Board looks to remain intact with the exception of current board president Jen Seliger, who is not seeking re-election. Incumbents Jeremy Ratliff and Maria Volpe will secure three-year terms unopposed, along with newcomer Brett Woller. Ratliff will enter into his second term, being first elected in 2015. Volpe was appointed in the summer of 2016 following the resignation of former board member Jeff Hetfeld. Volpe was re-elected for a one-year term last April.
The county board will feature a few contested races as well.
Current 20th District supervisor Carl Vander Sanden will be seeking his third term, versus challenger Dora Gorski.
In 2016 Tyler Mueller won out in both a primary and the general spring election, to secure the 3rd District seat in place of Ryan Schwartzman who filed for non-candidacy. The seat is contested as Mueller’s 2016 opponent Ray Bloomer is challenging once again.
In the 6th Supervisory District, long time supervisor Patsy Woller is not running and will be replaced by newcomer Norbert “Nubs” Ashbeck. The Tenth District will feature incumbent Loretta Baughan who will be seeking her third term in office, versus challenger Jeremy Ratliff.
13th District Supervisor Kirby Crosby, elected in 2016, will face off with challenger Calvin Thomas Callahan.
Former District 22 supervisor Robert Reichelt filed for non-candidacy and his seat remains open while Corey Nowak has stepped in for the District 21 seat formerly held by Kortney Pike.
All remaining districts well as Merrill-Tomahawk Municipal Court Judge Ned Seubert will proceed to another term, unopposed.
The towns of Merrill and Bradley will have town supervisor races on the ballot. In the town of Merrill, three candidates, Michael Rick Jr., Tony Fischer and Corey Nowak, are vying for two seats on the board. In the town of Bradley, incumbents Robert Eisenman and Bill Jelinek are unopposed for re-election.
All polling places will open 7 a.m. this morning and will close at 8 p.m. this evening.