Contested races take shape for spring election
By Jalen Maki and Jeremy Ratliff
Last Tuesday, Jan. 7 marked the deadline to file candidacy for those interested in running for public office in the spring election set for Tuesday, April 7. As a result, three of eight Merrill Common Council seats will be contested, one of which will be headed to primary next month. The Lincoln County Board features only one contested race this year.
City of Merrill Common Council
Of the three contested seats in the Merrill Common Council race, incumbent Paul Russell will be challenged by Gary Broesch and Becky Meyer. Meyer challenged Russell during the Common Council recall election this past summer but fell short (91-150). Shannon Collins is another recall challenger who will once again oppose John Van Lieshout in District 5. Collins fell short in her recall bid versus Van Lieshout (97-103). District 6 incumbent Mike Rick will go up against challenger Kyle Gulke.
Non-candidacy papers were not filed by District 7 incumbent/council president Rob Norton, meaning the deadline for candidates to file in that district was extended to 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10. Mark Weix Jr. was the only candidate to file papers in the district.
Lincoln County Board of Supervisors
The only contested Lincoln County Board race is slated to take place in District 6, where Landis Holdorf will challenge incumbent Norbert Ashbeck.
District 3 incumbent Tyler Mueller and District 4 incumbent Derek Woellner did not meet the Wednesday, Jan. 8 deadline to file non-candidacy papers. The deadline was extended to Friday, Jan. 10 for any other candidates to file in those districts.
Elizabeth McCrank filed paperwork in District 3. In District 4, Joshua Thomas Wendt filed candidacy papers.
District 5 Supervisor Frank Saal filed non-candidacy papers, and no candidacy papers were filed there. The seat will be filled by a write-in candidate.
Chuck Bolder, who represents District 9, filed non-candidacy papers. Don Friske will be the only District 9 candidate on the ballot.
Also filing non-candidacy papers was District 21 Supervisor Corey Nowak. Eugene R. Simon was the only person to file candidacy papers in that district.
Nomination papers were filed by the remaining 16 incumbent Supervisors, and none will face opponents in their respective districts. They include William R. Bialecki in District 1, Robert Weaver in District 2, Greta Rusch in District 7, Christopher Heller in District 8, Jeremy Ratliff in District 10, Hans Breitenmoser Jr. in District 11, Paul Gilk in District 12, Calvin Callahan in District 13, Brian Hafeman in District 14, Robert J. Lee in District 15, Michael Loka in District 16, Kevin Koth in District 17, Patricia Voermans in District 18, Julie L. Allen in District 19, Dora Gorski in District 20, and Timothy Panfil in District 22.
MAPS Board of Education
Kevin J. Blake, Ronald Liberty and Paul C. Proulx are the three candidates vying for three seats on the Merrill Area Public School District Board.