Spring Election to decide makeup of new Lincoln County Board


In advance of next week’s Spring Election on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, as a public service, we offered each of the candidates who will be on that ballot the opportunity to share a little information about themselves and their reasons for running for office.
All 22 positions on the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors are up for election, although it will be an uncontested race in 12 of the 22 Districts.
NOTE: Not all candidates responded. Those candidates that did respond have their responses to the questionnaire printed here. Candidates comments and reasons for running are their own personal opinions and not a factual article composed by this newspaper. No candidate or candidate’s statement has been endorsed by the Merrill Foto News. We hope this will help voters formulate their own opinions when making decisions about which candidate they will vote for.

County Board District 1: William R. Bialecki (incumbent) (uncontested)

Bill Bialecki.

Name: Bill Bialecki

Age: 78

Family: Wife Judy, seven grown children, two step-children, four grandchildren

Employment/position: Retired Master Electrician, Retired Commercial Electrical Inspector, Retired Director of Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Merrill City Council 2000-2002, Merrill Mayor 2010-2018, Lincoln County Board 2015- present

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: 56-year member of VFW Post 1638 past Post Commander, 6 years U.S. Army (3 tours Vietnam), 1 year Wisconsin National Guard, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (retired), Member Merrill Optimists, Member St. Francis Parish, 28-year member Lincoln County Sports Club (11 years as president), Ducks Unlimited 45-year member of local fundraising committee (27 years chairman)

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “To help facilitate continued economic development in our City, help with expansion of the City’s tax base, work towards developing more affordable housing, address childcare needs in the community, and work with the County Broadband Commission to address broadband expansion.”

County Board District 2: Lori L. Anderson-Malm (incumbent) vs. Scott Doerr

Lori Anderson-Malm.

Name: Lori Anderson-Malm

Age: 60

Family: Married – Eric, two step-children – Austin & Brittany, two step-grandchildren – Forest & Gianna, one lovable mini-dachshund – Abby

Employment/position: Merrill City Clerk

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: County Board Supervisor District 2 – April 2022-present; Merrill City Clerk – April 2022-present

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: Member of St. Stephens UCC; Committee member of the O’Tannenbaum Tour since 2018; Board member and Treasurer for the Friends of the TB Scott Library since 2010; Volunteer at St. Francis fish fries for 16 years.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “A few of the reasons I chose to run for office were to increase transparency in government and to continue to ensure election integrity. In the two years I’ve served as your District 2 Supervisor, those goals were established.”
“The first was a resolution to record and make available to the public, County Board and Committee meetings. As a taxpayer, it’s imperative to have transparency in government and the ability for anyone to view prior recorded meetings. This was not done prior to 2022. This was followed by a policy change requiring all ordinances and resolutions be sponsored by a County Board Supervisor (by name) in order to appear on the agenda. This change took away the anonymous authors of policy changes that occurred prior to 2022. An ordinance regarding donations, grants, and integrity for elections was passed in July 2022, as well as a resolution for an advisory referendum question regarding the prohibition of election officials from soliciting or using private funds, technology, or services from special interest groups, people, or other private entities for the purpose and administering of elections. Going forward, I will continue to keep transparency in government and election integrity at the forefront.”
“Another reason I chose to run for office was to ensure fiscal responsibility. Lincoln County does not have an endless supply of money nor can we continually ask taxpayers to pay more to cover previous Boards’ poor financial decisions. We need to ensure the money we receive is spent wisely. Making fiscally responsible choices is not easy and is not popular; no one wants to hear the word “no.” Decisions need to be made for the long-term financial future of Lincoln County and its taxpayers instead of the short-term fixes that were done in the past. There is more to accomplish and the majority of those tasks will not be easy.
For the past two years, I have listened to my constituents and have voted accordingly. It has been an honor to serve as your District 2 Supervisor. I am asking for your support and vote on Feb. 20. Thank you.”

Scott Doerr.

Name: Scott Doerr

Age: 66

Family: I was born and raised in Merrill. Married to Linda. I have two sons, Mike and Chris who both have their own business.

Employment/position: I am currently Manager at the Merrill Eagles Club. I was previously employed at Semco for 29 years.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: No office held publicly. I ran twice for Merrill City Council.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: Fraternal Order of EaglesPast Regional President (2020), Past State President (2015/16), Current State Treasurer, and current Aerie Secretary. Past President, Treasurer and Negotiator for Former Local Union 2344 (1985 – 2005). I was Co-Chair with my Wife Linda for Relay for Life, raising over $200,000.00 locally for Cancer research and treatment programs.I was also a political Liaison for The American Cancer Society, meeting with Legislators in Madison and Washington DC.I am currentlyLeague Secretary for the Wednesday night bowling league. Member of St. John Lutheran Church. I served as usher and was an Elder for 3 years.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I started outin support of a referendum to let the taxpayers decide if they wanted to pay extra taxes to keep Pine Crest County owned. I soon learned that the current Board had no interest in hearing what the taxpayers wanted. As time went on, it was obvious the Board had already made the decision without public input. In my opinion, Pine Crest was sold at a very low price and their desperation to sell Pine Crest resulted in getting one lowball bid which they voted to sell, despite numerous citizens questioning the details of the sale and other concerns. Also, Lincoln Industries disappeared quietly, and the UW Extension lost funding despite pleas from again, the taxpayers. I feel we need more people to be on the County Board to bring the people’s voice back to county government.”

County Board District 3: Elizabeth McCrank (incumbent) (uncontested)

Elizabeth McCrank.

Name: Elizabeth McCrank

Age: 60

Family: one English bulldog/beagle cross, goes by the name of Beebs.

Employment/position: Outreach Educator, UW-Madison

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Lincoln County Board Supervisor, District 3 (2020-present)

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: Lincoln County Sports Club, Merrill Historical Society, Merrill Noon Optimists, Friends of the T.B. Scott Free Library

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “Life has been very good to me, Merrill has been very good to me, Lincoln County has been very good to me – I believe that doing service for the community is a small gift back to the community and is a small price for me to pay for the good life that I live here. I stand for reasonability and sensibility and against stubbornness and blind adherence to ideology, neither of which (in my opinion) is ever right for local needs and desires.”

County Board District 4: Derek Woellner (uncontested)

Derek Woellner.

Name: Derek Woellner

Age: 31


Employment/position: Harley-Davidson/Production Technician

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: County Board Supervisor, 2018-2020; Mayor of Merrill, 2018-2022.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served:

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “We need to restore the UW-extension and use it to educate people on how to start or improve a business. It’s an investment that can empower entrepreneurs and grow our local economy.”

County Board District 5: Andrew Zelinski (uncontested)

Andy Zelinski.

Name: Andy Zelinski


Family: My wife, Krista (Borchardt) and I have been married for 27 years and we’ve raised our two children Katelyn age 25 and Jacob age 21 in the Town of Merrill.

Employment/position: Sr. Manager for Continuous Improvement & Cost Reductions at Jarp

Past or present elected offices held, dates served:

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: St. John Lutheran Church member, member of the NRA

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am a native of Langlade County where my father was on the City Council and County Board and my mother served on the School Board for many years. I have been a resident of Lincoln County for the past 29 years. I am a 1988 graduate of Antigo High School and attained an Associate Degree in Machine Tool from NTC, Wausau. I began my career as a machinist in 1990 at Jarp Industries located in Schofield, moving into management after four years. I have been in management for 30 of my 34 years at Jarp. Currently, I am a Senior Manager responsible for our yearly budget creation and adherence. With my experience in business, I feel I can serve the people of Lincoln County in a fiscally responsible manner while striving to retain some of our tax dollars.”
“I want to ensure Lincoln County remains a great place to live and raise a family. My family belongs to St. John Lutheran Church. Through the years, I have been involved with my children’s sports and a member of many outdoor organizations including the NRA. As a parent, homeowner, landowner, and avid outdoorsman, I truly care about Lincoln County and would appreciate your vote on April 2! Thank you!”

County Board District 6: Norbert Ashbeck (incumbent) (uncontested)

County Board District 7: Wallace (Jay) Downey vs. Donald Dunphy

Jay Downey.

Name: Jay Downey

Age: 56

Family: Married to my beautiful wife Lori for 35 years; we have two kids – one daughter age 34 and one son age 31.

Employment/position: Sun Chemical/Business Development Manager for Flexible Packaging

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Elected Team captain of the UW-Stevens Point college football team for two years (1988-1989). Elected Vice President of GCIU (Graphic Communication International Union) local union and served over 100 members for four years (1993-1997). Elected chair to the sustainable and wide web leadership councils of the Flexographic Technical Association that serves over 30,000 members nationwide and served six years on both councils (2009-2015). Elected as Co-Chair of the Executive Board to the SGP (Sustainable Green Printer) association that serves over 8,000 members nationwide and served for six years (2009-2015). Currently serve as a member of the UW-Stevens Point Academic Advisory Board for the Paper Science Program(2021-Present).

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: Flexographic Packaging Association (2002-Present), Flexographic Technical Association (2002-Present), Sustainable Green Printer (2009-Present), Confectionary Association (2003-Present), Salted Snack Association (2005-Present), Digital Printer’s Association (2014-Present), Midwest Converter’s Association (2002-Present), Who’s Who of Flexographic Packaging Association (2022- Present), Packaging Professionals (2014-Present), Coatings World (2014-Present), and Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (1997-2002).

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am running for County Board Supervisor for District 7 to foster a partnership with the County and community, ensuring responsible spending, transparency, trusted leadership, and forward-thinking initiatives in our County. My experience in leading other organizations as well as my current organization and the success those organizations have and continue to have can be traced back to my guiding principles of accountability, transparency, fairness, and being fiscally responsible. By empowering my team in those organizations that I have led and currently lead, those organizations continue to thrive and have a vibrant future. If elected to serve the 7th district of Lincoln County, I will be looking to empower our community members and families, in which Lincoln County will envision a vibrant future, where every family can thrive and call Lincoln County home. I ask for your vote on Tuesday, April 2, 2024. Thank You!”

Don Dunphy.

Name: Donald Dunphy

Age: 72

Family: Spouse – Ruthann; Children – Ellen (Andrew Clinnin), Jack, and Bridget

Employment/position: Retired

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: District Attorney for Lincoln County 01/01/05 to 01/01/2017

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: State Bar of Wisconsin, VFW Post 1638 (life member), People for Pine Crest, Merrill Kiwanis, Crime Stoppers, and Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I became interested in running for County Board last spring when it became apparent that the current majority were not going to respond to public concerns about the sale of Pine Crest Nursing Home. The County Board voted down a referendum that would have allowed the voters to decide the fate of Pine Crest. A single committee of the Board authorized the Chairman to sign a contract binding the County to pay a brokerage fee of $255,000. The Board ignored its own guidelines which call for an appraisal when selling high value property. Finally, the County Health and Human Services Building was added to the deal free of charge. This is our government. It is not the property of the 22 members of the current County Board. A sale of this magnitude should never have been conducted without a referendum or an appraisal.”
“Elected officials should have confidence that their constituents know what is in their own best interest. The way in which the Pine Crest sale was conducted demonstrates that the current Board has no such confidence. I pledge that I will do my best to ensure that nothing like this happens again.”

County Board District 8: Laurie J Thiel (incumbent) vs. Todd Frederick

Laurie Thiel.

Name: Laurie Thiel


Family: Married, two sons/daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren.

Employment/position: Recently retired from Church Mutual Insurance Company, and currently the part-time Secretary at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Merrill.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: I am currently the Lincoln County Board Supervisor for District 8.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served:

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I have chosen to run for District 8 Supervisor again because I would like to continue to work with the other members of the Board to continue working on keeping our County fiscally responsible and to do our best to keep the taxes low for all County residents. I worked with other members of the County Board to bring broadband internet to Lincoln County, eliminate the wheel tax, and to help institute the video recording of all County Board and County Committee meetings. Having this process in place allows all County residents to see and hear what is going on and holds us accountable.”
“I also worked with other members of the Board to find solutions for the very difficult decisions regarding Pine Crest and to make it a priority to keep it local and keep its doors open. I feel the decision we made was the right one for the residents that call it home and for the employees that work there, while making the choice to be responsible to the taxpayers, as well. I look forward to continuing to make good decisions for the benefit of County residents and would appreciate your vote on April 2.”

Todd Frederick.

Name: Todd Frederick

Age: 63

Family: Wife: Renea. Son: Tyler (Annette) Frederick

Employment/position: FreMarq Innovations/President

Past or present elected offices held, dates served:

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served:

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am running for Lincoln County Board of Supervisors to represent the 8th District. I am a lifelong resident of Merrill. After working for a company in Wausau for 14 years, my wife and I took a big risk and started our own business in Merrill. We started with just a few people in a small, rented building, but we had help from Merrill Economic Director Mike Martin and River Valley Bank. They both helped along the way and wanted us to succeed and create jobs. Along the way I had to work closely with a diverse group of people to get results. Unfortunately, this story would not happen today. We no longer have an economic development department that has the ability to provide any financial assistance, nor do we have a bank within this community that will help finance a start-up business. These are things that need to change for our community to grow and thrive. The current Board is focused on tourism, which is important to our County, but it does not provide living wage jobs, nor does it entice people to move here. With my experiences and ability to work with others to get things done, that is what I will bring to the County Board. I have attended County Board meetings for the past year and have asked for information during public comment, as well as contacted my current representative asking for the same information, only to be ignored and not receive a response. I have witnessed others doing the same, only to be talked down to and ignored as well. But the biggest problem was when the citizens asked for a referendum to vote on the Pine Crest issue, the Board voted not to allow the public to vote. I felt my vote was taken away by the 13 members that voted against the referendum. This is not how our citizens should be treated. If elected, I will change how the citizens in my district are treated. I will respond to your emails. I will reply to your letters, and I will return your calls. I will listen to you. I will also study the information provided and make sure I fully understand it so I can clearly explain it and properly vote on it. And finally, I will work hard to stop the continuous cutting of services within the County. We cannot continue to cut our way out of the financial situation we have. Any further cuts will harm services we all rely on. We have to find ways to grow our revenue without raising taxes. Just increasing tourism is not going to do this alone. We have to define a vision for the County that includes tourism and also increasing opportunities for growth in the manufacturing and service industries, and then move forward with that vision. Thank you for taking your time to read this. I would be honored to represent the 8th District on the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors.”

County Board District 9: Don Friske (incumbent) vs. Christine Vorpagel

Don Friske.

Name: Don Friske

Age: 62

Family: My wife, Liz Friske, and I married in 1993. We raised three sons, Gary (Alyssa), Shaun (Alexandria), and Evan (Kendra) and have four wonderful grandchildren.

Employment/position: Retired.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: I served as our Representative to the State Assembly (35th District) for 10 years (2001-2011), I served in an appointed position as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections from 2015-2018. I have served as the 9th District Supervisor to the County Board since 2020 – Current. Elected As Chairman of the Board in April 2022.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: My wife and I are members of the Merrill Bible Presbyterian Church where I serve as an elected Deacon. I am a member of the American Veterans (AMVETS) Post 2000; I currently serve as the Post Commander.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am running for office because Lincoln County is a great place to live. We have an abundance of natural resources, outdoor recreational activities, and family-sustaining employment opportunities. This should make Lincoln County quite appealing for families to move here and provide a chance for our children to stay close to home and raise their own families right here in Lincoln County. However, Lincoln County was one of several counties in Wisconsin that lost population in the last 10 years and has struggled to attract a new young workforce to drive our economy. I firmly believe we can turn that trend around by working with the 2 cities and 16 townships to let young families know that Lincoln County offers the quality of life they are looking for. To that end, over the last two years I have fostered relationships with the City of Merrill and City of Tomahawk, as well as several townships, and we have worked together to improve access to those areas young families are looking for when considering where to live.”
“It has been my experience that government will always want to reach deeper into your pockets, and while it may be well meaning or for a good cause or project, it is not always the best course of action for the citizens we in government serve. That is why my focus has been and will be on growth. When Lincoln County grows, so does the revenue the County and cities can use to fund EMS, roads, law enforcement, and other necessary departments that make up County government without raising your property taxes! I am running for County Board to continue the strategic growth plan we started over the last two years. The building blocks are in place and the initial work has been done, but there is much more to do. Over the next two years, I will continue to do the work necessary to make Lincoln County a preferred choice for families to recreate here, move here, and work here.”
“To my friends and neighbors of the 9th District, I ask for your vote. Together we can create a bright future for our families right here at home.”

Christine Vorpagel.

Name: Christine Vorpagel

Age: 69

Family: Wife, mother: three adult daughters, seven grandchildren

Employment/position: Owner Dynamo Creative Marketing & Media; T.E. WJMT Sales Rep.; currently crop farmers. I’m the tractor driver as we make small square bales of hay on 53 acres, selling and delivering hay mostly to horse owners. 2013-2017 Executive Director Tomahawk Main Street, a WEDC program; 2012, Stacy Stevens, former TB Scott Library Director sought me out because there was a City hiring freeze. Yet, the Library Board’s Long-Range Plan called for more Adult Programing. I pursued authors and panelists, scheduled programs, did publicity and hosted programs. Budget cuts forced Director Laurie Ollhoff to terminate contract 2022.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: In 1976, I was elected Charter President of Wisconsin Women for Agriculture Marathon/Lincoln County so was a delegate to the State WWA. Also in the 70’s, I was elected delegate to Associated Milk Producers Inc, representing our area at the National Convention in San Antonio,

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: In the 70’s, Sunday School co-teacher with my husband for two different one-year commitments for junior high age youth. I was elected and served one term on the St. Stephens UCC Church Council. I was the Membership & Evangelism Chairman. Currently, Dan and I are members of Bible Presbyterian Church. I was an Optimist Club member and Merrill Chamber of Commerce Retail Council Member in the 90’s.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: For years, I’ve attended meetings, speaking during Public Comment on Agenda items. However, often I got the feeling their minds were already made up. The Board rarely disagrees with or even questions the Committee’s recommendations. Suspension of quality-of-life programs like Lincoln Industries or the UW Extension are two examples! To not even allow an advisory referendum on the future of Pine Crest certainly demonstrated my opponent is really not interested in the opinion of his constituents. A Supervisor should represent the voters in his District. Transparency is a common theme and it’s time we bring true transparency to the County Board.”

County Board District 10: Jesse Boyd (incumbent) vs. Sheryl Chism

Jesse Boyd.

Name: Jesse Boyd

Age: 41

Family: Wife, Ashley Boyd; three daughters.

Employment/position: County Materials Corporation Project Manager: Providing superior products in wastewater management.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Current County Board District 10 Supervisor 2022-2024 term.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: My family and I are members of Trinity Lutheran Church of Merrill for the past 30 years. I’ve continued my membership with Post 1638 Northwoods VFW. I have an Associate degree in Mechanical Design Technology from Northcentral Technical College and continued to receive a Bachelor of Science in Management from Upper Iowa University. I served 16 years as a member of the United States Army Reserves, 428th Engineer Company out of Wausau, WI. I retired from the military in February 2016. I have two deployments, one in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 -2004 to New York and Texas. The other in 2010-2011 to Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom). It was there we provided route clearance for 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain. We suffered sustainable losses, but we did it to serve our country.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I’d like to take one last moment and share with you some insight on why I choose to be re-elected and represent District 10. Twenty-five years ago, as I was completing Merrill High School, I contemplated leaving Merrill and never looking back. It was one of the biggest reasons I joined the military. As I look back at that situation and the decisions I made then, I’m now facing that similar situation with my family, but as the parent. The only thing that is the same is that nothing has changed in Lincoln County to keep younger generations around; they flock to larger cities looking for more opportunities in income, occupations, and life satisfaction with a sense of purpose (like food venues, entertainment, and glamor).”
“Over my short tenure as your District 10 Supervisor, I’ve learned a lot more about myself and this situation, but one thing is certain, I ran to represent District 10 and Lincoln County for all the right reasons. As a retired Veteran I believe I had more to give back to our community. I have continued to support our County by providing trusted leadership, encouraging, and providing innovative ideas and forward-thinking in partnership with our taxpayers, the business community, and all levels of local services. I am certain I share the same values, priorities, and vision of many of my constituents and colleagues. As I was out within the community engaging in conversations with the individuals I have been representing, it motivated me even more to stick with it because they too have noticed Lincoln County isn’t growing. We are stagnant in both population and economic growth. If we do nothing to fix this situation, it will have consequences within our business community and financial hardships to both the County and its residents. This is my motivation. This is why I’m looking to be re-elected. I will invest and look forward to the growth of Lincoln County: using funds available to spark economic growth that draws others back or newcomers in. I voted to invest $500,000 in ARPA funds for marketing Lincoln County and have participated in multiple discussions on just how to make what we have to offer glow and spark interest in our current residents but also those that choose to visit.”

Sheryl Chism.

Name: Sheryl Chism


Family: Married to Jeff Chism, three children – Kasey, Sabrina, and Cassandra, four grandchildren

Employment/position: Owner and Operator of Chism Trail Ranch, LLC, Advanced Foot and Ankle, and Horse Hydrator.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served:

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: District 4 Director for the National Barrel Horse Association for the last 11 years.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am interested in improving the quality of life, increasing resources to support the citizens, and ensuring the voters voices are represented in government decisions. I would like to restore open and honest communication with our voters. I’ve had various work experience and skills that I will bring to the Board.”
“I was born in Lincoln County and raised in Harrison Hills on a farm with 10 siblings. I understand that hard work and effort can help you accomplish most anything you set out to achieve.”
“My husband and I moved to Merrill in 1997 and opened Advanced Foot and Ankle Center and have started three other successful corporations, including Chism Trail Ranch in Pine River for over 24 years which brings hundreds of people to different events from all over our state, as well as the surrounding states. We offer horse activities and educational classes for our guests that are encouraged to enjoy the ranch life and the beauty that Lincoln County has to offer. We have also developed a water filtration system for animals which is marketed worldwide.”
“I have served as the District 4 Director for the National Barrel Horse Association for the last 11 years. I have worked and started programs for activities for children and wellness classes of all ages.”
“Before moving back to Merrill, while in medical school, I was a Fitness Manager and supervisor of over 62 instructors and held over 100 classes a week in Chicago. I also worked in Miami and Naples resorts and health club facilities teaching classes and running programs.”
“All of these things have given me a unique skillset which will help to bring insight into the County Board. I have become well-versed in money management, billing, and record keeping. I am sure to become educated about situations before I make a decision. I have good listening skills and will explore a variety of options when problem-solving.”
“I look forward to being the voice and including your opinions when I am elected for the County Board Board of Pine River, District 10. Thank you for vote on April 2. Every vote counts.”

County Board District 11: Randal John Detert (incumbent) (uncontested)

County Board District 12: Julie DePasse (incumbent) vs. Paul Gilk

Julie DePasse.

Name: Julie DePasse

Age: 59

Family: My husband and I, Tom DePasse, met while serving in the Army and have been married for 37 years. We have two wonderful children and both are married to incredible people. We have three grandchildren and two more on the way.

Employment/position: I am the CEO of a not-for-profit risk management association, which is run similar to a traditional insurance company.

Past of present elected offices held, dates served: I have been the District 12 Supervisor and Chair of the Finance Committee since April 2022.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal., etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: My husband and I are very active in our church, Immanuel Lutheran, in the township of Corning. He is currently an Elder and I am the Financial Secretary and we have served in other capacities there over the years.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I believe government, at all levels, should shrink, not grow, and that government transparency and accountability are vital if we wish to be free. Taxes are too high, not too low. Every private business is not bad and every government is not good. In fact, anyone who is a student of history realizes the opposite is often true.”
“These are the same views I shared with you two years ago, when I ran to represent you, and these beliefs have directed my votes. Here is some of what we have accomplished:

  • Instituted online video recording of all Lincoln County meetings and required that all resolutions brought to the County Board have a sponsor and co-sponsor.
  • Eliminated the wheel tax, saving taxpayers $500,000 per year, while maintaining funding for the Highway Department.
  • Made Lincoln County a Second Amendment Sanctuary, protecting your right to keep and bear arms.
  • Put the State and Federal Government on notice that Lincoln County opposes any COVID-like restrictions on freedom, whether it’s closing businesses, prohibiting assembly, or wearing masks.
  • Worked to ensure that Pine Crest will remain open for years to come without increasing taxes dramatically.
  • Served as Chair of the Finance Committee, working to ensure our budget is balanced and unnecessary taxes eliminated.
  • Worked on a strategic plan for Lincoln County that will increase tourism and revenue for our County.”
    “I hope to continue serving you and am asking for your vote on April 2, 2024.”
Paul Gilk.

Name: Paul Gilk

Age: 77

Family: Wife: Susanna; children: Tobias, Hannah, and Woody; and brothers: Bill and Joe

Employment/position: Musician and author, otherwise retired

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: County Board Supervisor (District 12) from 2012 until 2022

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: Society of Friends (“Quakers”)

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “Julie DePasse, who defeated me in 2022, subsequently voted to give additional powers to the new Chairman of the Lincoln County Board, including the power to appoint Committee Chairs. Julie, with no prior County Board experience, was appointed Chair of the Finance Committee. Julie voted to kill University Extension (though public outrage caused the County Board to restore 4-H). She voted against a public referendum on Pine Crest, and she voted to sell Pine Crest to an out-of-state for-profit corporation.”
“I have been a member of People for Pine Crest since its inception and, if elected once again to the County Board, I will do everything within my power to explore the possibility of keeping Pine Crest County-owned: the closing will not be final until June 30. I will also explore the reinstatement of University Extension. In addition, I will vote to remove concentrated power from the County Board Chair and restore deliberative power to the Committees, particularly the power to elect their own Chairs. Democracy is not just about voting for candidates; it’s also about how elected bodies go about doing the public’s business.”

County Board District 13: Alan Bishop vs. Jeffrey Fisher

Alan Bishop.

Name: Alan J. Bishop

Age: 69

Family: Widowed, two adult daughters, three stepsons, two grandchildren, four step-grandchildren

Employment/position: Retired from US Postal Service

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Have not held prior elected office.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: I am a life member of Disabled American Veterans, American Legion member, and currently serve as Treasurer of Camp Ryan Adams, an organization that provides hunting and bonding experiences for veterans.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am running for County Board Supervisor to give back to my community and County. I look forward to sharing my experience and communication abilities with my fellow residents of District 13 and the County.”

Jeff Fisher.

Name: Jeffrey Fisher

Age: 57

Family: Married to my wife for 36 years and we have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

Employment/position: Self employed for 30 years as independent contractor. Currently employed with G&W railroad in the Tomahawk division.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: I’m currently serving as a Board member for the Somo Fish and Game Club. I have served for two years.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: I have been a member of the Somo Fish and Game Club for 25 plus years. I’m also a past member of the Wisconsin Masters Logging Association for 20 years.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “It was brought to my attention that this position came available, and I am at the point in my life where I now have the time to be more involved in order to make a positive difference for future generations and my grandkids.”

County Board District 14: Marguerite Lyskawa (uncontested)

County Board District 15: Marty R Lemke (incumbent) (uncontested)

County Board District 16: Dana Miller (incumbent) (uncontested)

Dana Miller with wife, Sarah Miller.

Name: Dana Miller

Age: 53

Family: I am married (28 years) to wife Sarah. Children: Jacob, Trey, and Sadie.

Employment/position: I am self employed. Owner operator of The Fit Factory LLC.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: I am the current District 16 County Board Supervisor.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: I am a Christian believer in Jesus Christ. I volunteer at Eagle Summit healing rooms. I served in the National Guards for six years as an M1 Abrams tank mechanic.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am running for County Board Supervisor because I am a long-term resident of Lincoln County. As a home owner, business owner, and parent, I want to keep this county a great place to live and raise a family. I have the experience in business, finance, and community service necessary to be an effective County Board Supervisor.”

County Board District 17: James Meunier (incumbent) (uncontested)

County Board District 18: Kenneth L. Wickham (incumbent) vs. Susan Dierksen

Ken Wickham.

Name: Kenneth (Ken) Wickham

Age: 65

Family: Ruby and I have been married for 45 years. We have three adult children and are expecting our ninth grandchild in May.

Employment/position: 2022 to Present – Part time as Director of Business Development for Lakeside Engineers, LLC. 2000 to 2022 – Wisconsin Department of Transportation. My final assignment was Director for the North Central Region where I led 130 staff and managed over $100 million annually for highway planning, design, construction, maintenance, and operations. 1976 to 1999 – U.S. Navy. Retired as a Lieutenant Commander after nearly 10 years enlisted and over 12 years commissioned service. Excelled in positions that demanded the highest levels of leadership, responsibility, accountability, and authority with significant consequences of decisions. Commanded organizations in the U.S. and overseas and made extended deployments aboard combatant ships.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: 2022 to Present – Lincoln County Board of Supervisors representing District 18. Assignments include: Chair, County Broadband Committee; Chair, Ad Hoc Committee on Pine Crest; Vice Chair, Highway Committee; Member, Forestry, Lands, and Parks Committee; Member, Administrative and Legislative Committee; and County Board Representative to and Chair, Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation Broadband Commission

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: Member of Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Rhinelander (1999-present); U.S. Naval Cryptologic Veterans Association (1992-Present); and National Rifle Association (2006-present).

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “Talking with and listening to the residents of District 18 has reinforced my resolve to carry on as their County Board representative. They told me to stay on course, improve quality of life, and protect their interests. If re-elected, I’ll continue to:

  • Develop plans and priorities to keep Lincoln County moving forward, guide budgeting, lower taxes, and decrease bureaucracy.
  • Address County spending and budget issues: Increase transparency and accountability of budgets and decisions. Ask why we should pay rather than how we’re going to pay for things. Push for zero-based budgeting to daylight expenses. Review County activities and facilities to create efficiencies and right-size efforts. Explore opportunities to work smarter and cheaper with municipalities and other counties.
  • Make our county a better place to live, work, and raise a family: Stand for individual rights and freedoms. Responsibly streamline government processes and regulations for residents and to facilitate economic development. Retain our identity and quality of life as we increasingly become a destination versus a pass through to other Northwoods tourism locations. Ensure towns and residents have a say in developing their neighborhoods. Drive efforts to make broadband internet available to all of Lincoln County.”
    “I believe past performance is the best indicator of my commitment to the residents of King and Harrison. As your representative, I:
  • Passed measures to safeguard personal freedoms, protect Second Amendment rights, and prohibit government from using private funds to administer elections in Lincoln County.
  • Stood up for District 18’s interests: Prevented a 30% increase in County property taxes by privatizing Pine Crest Nursing Home, saving the County $1.5 million annually and eliminating the need for $45 million of new County funding. Coordinated bringing broadband internet to Harrison and King in 2026. Eliminated the wheel tax, saving county vehicle owners $600,000 annually. Invested an additional $4 million for economic development and to repair County roads, including highway projects for CTHs A and D in 2025 and 2026. Worked with Harrison and King to get $142,000 to upgrade their recreation facilities. Initiated recording and online posting of Board and Committee meetings for transparency and accountability. Attended Harrison and King Town meetings and maintained contact with constituents through telephone, emails, texts, and in-person interactions.
  • Challenged County spending: Fought off demands for 20% cost increases for State-provided programs. Sent back for further study a request to borrow $4 million for County landfill expansion. Denied efforts to pay WisDOT $1 million to pave shoulders on STH 107. Collaborated with the Nokomis ATV Club for the club to fund preliminary design for an ATV trail along US 8, conserving $35,000 of County taxpayer money.”
    “A final note to the residents of District 18: I’ve proven that my word is my bond and I’ll always do what’s right and fight for you. I’m asking for and would be honored to receive your vote on April 2.”
Sue Dierksen.

Name: Sue Dierksen



Employment/position: My career has included leadership positions in large and medium sized organizations focusing on business and budget management, state and federal regulatory compliance, program development and implementation, leading teams and staff in problem solving, process improvement, and strategy. As an RN, Masters in Public Health, my work also included occupational and environmental health and safety, wellness, health benefits, and human resources working with large numbers of employees, both union and non-union.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: My elected positions have been in volunteer organizations.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: As a life-long volunteer supporting my rural community, I was previously a 20-year volunteer Iowa EMS First Responder and unit president, County Local Emergency Planning Commission, youth programs leader, United Way, NE IA ELCA Synod Board member, and congregational chairperson. I have continued volunteer service since moving to Harrison 12 years ago as member of Harrison Township Internet Committee working for access to quality, affordable, high-speed internet; AARP Wisconsin Legislative Advocate Senate District 12 connecting with state and federal legislators on issues affecting Wisconsinites 50+; also testifying before legislative committees for funding and expansion of broadband support across the state, AARP Wisconsin Executive Committee member, and Homme Home Inc. WI Board.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “Decisions made by our County Board affect the daily lives of every voter and citizen in Lincoln County. Yet time and again it has been difficult to get clear information regarding important discussions and plans prior to votes being taken and actions implemented. Information is needed up front, not after the fact when services have been cut, contracts entered into, and no clear indication of the plan.”
“People of District 18 deserve a stronger voice at the table communicating their vision of what Lincoln County should look like and how it should function moving forward into the future. I have the career experience and the passion for where we live to be that voice for my neighbors in this District. I value your thoughts in solving issues and serving our community. I fully commit to regular communication with you and township leaders so all will know what is being considered by the County Board and why. You have a choice on April 2.”

County Board District 19: Joseph Dorava vs. Dan Friske

Joe Dorava.

Name: Joseph M. Dorava

Age: 64

Family: Married with two adult children

Employment/position: Consulting Engineer, Senior Specialist with Cadmus Group

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Township of Skanawan Supervisor since 2023

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served:

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “Hello Lincoln County District 19 Voters: My name is Joe Dorava. I am a semi-retired professional engineer living in Skanawan, in the same house my parents, Elmer and Bette Mae, bought in 1960. Currently I serve on the Township of Skanawan’s Board, and I am running for Lincoln County Board Supervisor from District 19, which includes Skanawan, King, and Birch Townships.”
“My primary belief is that we are stronger together when we seek common ground and discourage polarization. That philosophy has served me well in my long career working for rural communities throughout Wisconsin. The goals I see for District 19 include protecting our natural resources and preserving the rural lifestyle we enjoy, while considering the need for area growth and the necessary infrastructure improvements. I will work hard for District 19 and make sure you have a voice in keeping Lincoln County a great place to live. Please reach out if you have questions or concerns about Township or County Board operations and know that I would certainly appreciate your vote in the April 2024 election.”

Daniel Friske.

Name: Dan Friske

Age: 59

Family: Married with 3 kids and 11 grandkids

Employment/position: Owner and operator of Friske Logging LLC

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: None

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served:

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I am running for the County Board seat to bring our road maintenance back up to the standard that we all expect them to be at and cut down on wasteful spending in our County. I am asking for your vote on April 2. Thank you.”

County Board District 20: Angela Cummings (incumbent) vs. Doug Curtis

Angela Cummings.

Name: Angela Cummings

Age: 60

Family: I am happily married to my husband, Eugene. Children are son, Jerry Cummings; son and daughter-in-law, Kyle and Jenna Dunlap; daughter and son-in-law, Sheila and Nicholas Sokup; and daughter, Kimberly Cummings. Grandchildren are: Daniel Sokup, Margaret Sokup, and twins Henry and Theodore Dunlap. Another son, Bobby, died at age 17.

Employment/position: Retired from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue in 2020 after 33 years of service.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Lincoln County Board of Supervisors, April 2022 to present.

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: Member of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. Member of the Sacred Worship Committee since 2023 and usher at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church since 2020; member of the Joseph Project since 2021, and volunteer and paid staff at Newman Middle and High School since 2017. I am also a Eucharistic Lay Minister delivering Home Holy Communion since 2022. Graduated from Lay Formation Institute in 2023.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I have chosen to seek re-election for the Lincoln County Board, as I feel there is much work that needs to be done. While Lincoln County has a new branding statement, ‘Where the Northwoods Starts and Your Adventure Begins,’ there still needs to be work done to enhance and bring tourism which could result in new residents. To my knowledge, no other Board has tried to grow the County. There has been a concerted effort to bring down expenses, increase revenues, and balance budgets. There needs to be a long-term plan for all areas, such as capital improvements and yearly budgets to create an overall plan for sustainability and funding of Lincoln County. Other issues such as highway improvements, County spending, and the landfill are all issues that will need to be dealt with by the upcoming Board. I feel I am prepared to take on all of these issues. During my term as a County Board Supervisor, I was appointed Chair of Social Services and the Board of Health, elected Treasurer of the Ad Hoc Committee on Pine Crest, and a member of Administrative & Legislative Committee. I was also a member of the Finance Committee, Broadband Committee, and North Central Community Services Programs Board. I also attended many town board meetings, met with County employees, department heads and County staff researching and gathering information for the work of those committees.”
“The residents of Lincoln County do not want bickering, fighting, slandering, or infighting. They want services that are dependable and a budget that has minimal impact on their budget. I would like to be part of the solution to grow the County, form the overall plan, and move the County forward. Past Boards have kicked the can down the road, but this Board has not done that. We have tackled some very tough issues.”
Thank you for allowing me to serve as your County Board Supervisor. I will continue to work hard, do the research, and make common sense decisions for all the residents of the County. My work ethic has been proven and, because this Board brought transparency and accountability, you can go back and watch the meetings at any time on the Lincoln County website. I would be honored and humbled to serve another term as your County Board Supervisor. I respectfully ask for your vote on April 2, 2024.”

Doug Curtis.

Name: Doug Curtis


Family: I live in Gleason with my girlfriend.

Employment/position: Retired from Lincoln Hills after 20 years there.

Past or present elected offices held, dates served:

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: I have been a Union Representative and advocate for the staff at Lincoln Hills and, occasionally, elsewhere around the state.

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I was employed for the State when ACT 10 was passed. I know what happens when government makes a bad decision, and the decision to sell Pine Crest is a bad one. The needs of the community were ignored in favor of convenience. The decision to ignore a referendum on the subject was an abdication of the responsibility the Board had to find out what the public wanted. We can do better. This is why I have chosen to run. I was enjoying my retirement, but we need a change, and nobody else in my District was stepping up. I hope to bring an informed viewpoint to County government. Informed by my constituents as to what THEY want me to do.”

County Board District 21: Eugene Simon (incumbent) (uncontested)

County Board District 22: Greg Hartwig (incumbent) (uncontested)

Greg Hartwig.

Name: Greg Hartwig

Age: 59

Family: Wife Betty and daughters Rebecca and Katherine


Past or present elected offices held, dates served: Lincoln County District 22 Supervisor

Membership in religious, service, fraternal, etc., clubs or organizations, and offices held, dates served: I am a member of St. Johns Lutheran Church in Merrill, VP of the River District Development Foundation (Riverbend Trail), Board Member of Lincoln County Crimestoppers, and Board Member of the Merrill Chamber of Commerce,

Why have you chosen to run for the office you seek: “I have served the public since joining the US Army, and then as a Police Officer in Merrill. Upon retirement I felt I had more to do in our community and decided to run for County Board. It’s a difficult job, but I feel I make informed and fair decisions for the community and the taxpayer. One of the first acts I accomplished at no cost was enacting video and audio recording of Board and Committee meetings. I feel transparency is imperative and our meetings should be recorded for the public. The County Board agreed and passed this resolution. I voted to allow the Wheel Tax to sunset as I felt it wasn’t implemented as it was intended to, and the extra tax didn’t increase funding in the highway department. I also voted to prohibit private funding of our elections. I am excited to see how ARPA funding will benefit Lincoln County. For one of our ARPA projects I suggested our Forestry Director contact the Bierman Foundation to replace a bathroom at Newwood Park, and the Bierman Foundation funded this project, saving taxpayers over $100,000. Other ARPA projects include a bridge crossing the Prairie River at Prairie Dells connecting Lincoln County land with the City of Merrill Forest; campgrounds to be developed at Sara Park in Tomahawk and at the Festival Grounds in Merrill; expanding campsites and installing electricity at Newwood Park; one and a half million dollars to upgrade our County roads. We also covered a $1,126,328 deficit at Pine Crest Nursing Home. Our County population has been stagnant and I will continue to look for opportunities to grow Lincoln County. I believe this is something that has been missing. Our County Board met on a Saturday and developed a Vision Statement and branding. Our branding statement was discussed and we decided on ‘Where the Northwoods Start and the Adventure Begins.’ I believe our County Board will continue to look for opportunities to grow our tax base, and our sales tax, which helps the taxpayer and our budget. Thank-you for entrusting me to represent District 22!”

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