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A Rundown Of Area Elections Taking Place This Tuesday

April 3, 2012

Rusty Mehlberg

WACD 106.1 FM

Today is spring election day in Wisconsin. People across the state will be taking part in various elections as polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. One reminder to voters as you do your civic duty is that you do not have to have a photo ID with you. That law has been put on hold due to two lawsuits challenging its constitutionality, with a ruling by the State Supreme Court still pending. You still have to sign a poll book and have lived at your residence at least 28 days before today. Also, changes to how voting districts look also took place last year following redistricting due to the latest U.S. Census. Make sure you double check to know what voting districts you are in for the next ten years.

Everyone in the state does have the chance to vote in the Republican Presidential primary. Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are the four remaining candidates seeking the nomination to face President Barack Obama in the fall. Former candidates Michele Bachmann and Jon Huntsman are also on the ballot due to still being candidates at the time the ballot was finalized. Votes cast today will determine how the state's 42 party delegates will vote at the partys national convention in the fall. Also, all area residents will have the chance to vote for a vacant spot on the state's Third Appellate Court. Former Oneida County Judge Mark Mangerson is the only name on the ballot

Local elections also highlight the voting taking place this Tuesday with county, city, village, township, and school board races. Some locations will be quieter than others due to not having a competitive race on their ballot. This will include the City of Antigo as the four supervisor wards up for election have only the incumbent running on the ballot for another two-year term. They include Third Ward's Tim Kassis, Fourth Ward's Tom Bauknecht, Sixth Ward's Steve Dunn and Eighth Ward's Reinhardt Balcerzak. Also, three area school districts also feature just the incumbents without any ballot challengers. In Elcho the only name on the ballot is Kari Lazers, in White Lake it features Scott Popelka and Tammy Stegell, and in Wittenberg-Birnamwood it includes Kristy Meredith, Tammy Pestka and Tammy Wendler. All seats for these school boards are for three-year terms.

As for competitive elections we will be watching, the Unified School District of Antigo has four people on the ballot running for three spots for the next three years. They include incumbents Gary Hegranes and Mike Boldig and challengers Gary Jaje and Karl Niedermann. One of the challengers is expected to get on the board, thanks to the retirement on long-time board member and current President Gary Kieper.

The Village of White Lake Trustees Board could see plenty of change as there are four spots up for election. Three of them will be filled from a pool of six candidates for a two year term. They include incumbents Dale Kangas and Mary Pomasl, and challengers David Boyd, Joseph Grennell, Cheri Hoffman, and Carol Swim. The fourth spot will be a choice between Judy Peterson and Patricia Listle for a one-year term to fill a current vacancy.

Shifting to the Langlade County Board of Supervisors, all 21 seats are up for election for people to serve the next two years. Five feature competitive ballot races.
-In District Three it is a rematch of 2010 as incumbent Richard Hurlbert again faces a challenge from Clark Palmer.
-In District Five incumbent Dave Morse is being challenged by Carol Gottard.
-In District 13 incumbent Jeffery Zalewski faces a challenge from Dan Schremp.
-In District 16 incumbent Jerrold Burns is being challenged by Robert Aderholdt.
-And in District 19 incumbent Thomas Schultz is being challenged by Holly Matucheski. There will be at least one new face on the board as District Six incumbent George Bornemann is not running for another term. Larry Poltrock is running unopposed for the seat.

What could be the most interesting races in the area will be for some spots on the Shawano County Board of Supervisors. Redistricting of the board completed last year resulted in the board shrinking from 30 to 27, meaning some elections this Tuesday will have incumbents facing incumbents for another two year term. That is most evident in western Shawano County, where three of the four competitive ballot races are this situation. In District 22 it is incumbents Jerry Erdmann and Wayne Thoma, in District 25 it is incumbents Dorothy Dorow and Dennis Knaak, and in District 27 it is incumbents Marion Wnek and Jon Zwirschitz. District 21 had a traditional incumbent/challenger situation on the ballot as current board member Bert Huntington is being challenged by Robert Little. Two other area districts also will have new representation due to redistricting. District 24 only has William Switalla on the ballot and District 26 only has Thomas Kautza on the ballot.

Finally, two area circuit courts have competitive elections this Tuesday. For the Menominee-Shawano County Circuit Court, incumbent appointed judge William Kussel Jr. faces David Winter for a six-year term. For the Oneida County Circuit Court, it will be John O'Melia facing Michael Bloom for an empty judge seat and also for a six-year term.

All of these elections will be the focus of live updates this evening on WACD/WATK starting after 8 p.m.

by Rusty Mehlberg

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