Election Brings Major Upsets And Surprises In Local OfficesIssue Date: April 4, 2019
Despite a lack of contests for most of the municipal and school board positions to be filled, 8,268 voters in Marinette County went to the polls for the Spring Elections on Tuesday, April 2.
In the few municipalities where there were contests there were some surprising turnovers.
Long-time Crivitz Village President John Deschane was defeated by Trustee Kurt Kostuch. There were 124 votes for Kostuch and 106 for Deschane.
In the Town of Peshtigo, veteran Town Chair Herman Pottratz, with 566 votes, was returned to the post he lost two years ago to former Supervisor Denise Wiedemeier, who drew 449 votes for return to office. Incumbent Daniel Staudenmaier drew 530 votes for a return to his Supervisor 1 position over challenger Tim Bergeson, who had 472 votes, while incumbent Supervisor Mark Monnette lost to challenger Jon P. Drees for the Supervisor 2 position by a margin of 555 for Drees and 449 for Monnette.
Write-in candidate Steve Renikow won the Wagner Town chair position over incumbent Lynn Hickey, the only candidate on the ballot. Hickey had previously been elected to the town chair position, then resigned, and was reappointed a month ago. The name of incumbent Town Clerk Linda Wilke was on the ballot, but she had resigned and announced she would not serve if elected and expressed hope voters would support Cassandra Brown, who was appointed to replace her. The result was 55 votes for Wilke and 189 for Brown.
In the Town of Athelstane incumbent Town Board Supervisor 1 Harold M. Tesch, Jr. was defeated by challenger Denis DeJardin by an 83 to 101 vote margin.
In the Town of Amberg, incumbent Supervisor 1 veteran Ron Holmes won return to office by a 141 to 80 margin over challenger Rick Downs.
Town of Lake voters had one contested race to decide. They returned incumbent Supervisor Travis J. Mueller to office with 146 votes, while 84 ballots were cast for challenger William Retza, Jr.
Judge James Morrison, unopposed in his bid to return as Branch II Circuit Court Judge for Marinette County for another 6-year term, was supported by 6,880 voters.
The only statewide contest on the ballot ended in a near tie, with Judge Brian Hagedorn just 5,500 votes ahead of Judge Lisa Neubauer for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice position being vacated by the retirement of Justice Shirley Abrahamson. There were 1.2 million votes cast for the position. Hagedorn drew 601,007 votes and Neubauer 595,206. By 5 a.m. on Wednesday, with all but 15 precincts reporting, Hagedorn had declared a victory but both sides are anticipating a recount.
Wisconsin law allows for recounts if the race margin is within 1 point. If it is within 0.25 points, taxpayers pay for the recount. If it is above that amount but lower than 1 point, the losing candidate must pay for the recount.
As it stood early Wednesday, Neubauer was within the margin where she could ask for a recount, but her campaign would have to pay for it.
Before the exact margin is determined, local officials must canvass the vote to determine the official tally. That process will begin next week. Both sides will be watching closely.
Marinette County Clerk Kathy Brandt has scheduled the Board of Canvassers to canvass votes starting at 9 a.m. Friday, April 5 in the Annex Conference Room on the first floor of the Courthouse Annex in Marinette.
Hagedorn was backed by conservatives and was strongly supported in Marinette County, where he drew 5,169 votes compared to 2,963 for Neubauer, who was strongly backed by liberal groups and by very heavy margins carried Milwaukee and Dane counties.
Hagedorn served as Republican Gov. Scott Walker's chief counsel until 2015, when Walker appointed him to the District 2 Court of Appeals in Waukesha. Before he worked for Walker, Hagedorn clerked for Justice Michael Gableman, a conservative who left the court last year after deciding not to run for re-election.
Neubauer spent nearly 20 years at Milwaukee law firm Foley & Lardner before Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle appointed her in 2007 to the same appeals court Hagedorn later joined. Neubauer won election to six-year terms on the court in 2008 and 2014.
Court of Appeals District 3 Judge Lisa K Stark, also unopposed, received votes of support from 6,452 voters in Marinette County for another six year term.
Northwest Municipal Judge Arthur J. Rettke, unopposed, drew 559 votes for return as head of the court that serves the towns of Beecher, Dunbar and Goodman.
Near North Municipal Court Judge Catherine C. Stichmann, also unopposed, drew 1,291 votes to continue presiding over the court that serves towns of Lake, Middle Inlet, Stephenson and the Village of Wausaukee.
The referendum allowing Goodman/Armstrong Creek School District to levy taxes exceeding the state levy limit was approved by a 316 to 219 margin, with 206 "yes" votes and 114 "no" votes in Goodman and 110 "yes" votes and 105 "no" votes in Armstrong Creek.
In Marinette School District voters by large margin approved a referendum to allow redistricting so all board members are elected at large to represent the district at large, rather than representing specific parts of the district.
Results by municipality and school district are:
City of Marinette: With no opposition incumbent District 1 Ken Keller won return to office, and incumbent Dorothy Kowalski drew 1,009 votes as the sole candidate for return as alderman at large. In Ward 4, incumbent Brian Walters had filed a certificate of non-candidacy, and Dave Anderson, as the sole candidate, won that seat with 176 votes.
City of Niagara: Incumbent Mayor George Bousley, unopposed for return to office, received 152 votes. Also winning return to office unopposed were incumbent aldermen Michael Darne, 168 votes, and Teresa West, 158 votes. Incumbent Alderman Mark Moreau has filed non-candidacy papers, and Lynn Schabo Burke,with 165 votes, will be seated as a new alderman.
City of Peshtigo: Incumbent aldermen winning return to office without opposition were District 1 Alderman Brigitte Schmidt, 112 votes; District 2 Alderman Michael J. Behnke, 116 votes, and District 3 Alderman Debbie Sievert, 114 votes.
Village of Coleman: There was no competition. Returned to office without opposition were incumbents Village President Glenn Woulf, 123 votes, and Trustee David Podoski, 108 votes, Trustee Nancy Stank,115 votes.Incumbent Trustee Diane Patz had filed a notice of non-candidacy. Chad Mursau, a first-time candidate, was unopposed in his bid to replace her, and drew 114 votes.
Village of Crivitz: Incumbent Village President John Deschane was defeated by Trustee Kurt Kostuch. There were 124 votes for Kostuch as chair and 106 for Deschane. Kostuch also was a candidate for re-election for trustee, where he drew 165 votes, the highest total of any of the three candidates. However, since he will be taking over as village president the board apparently will need to appoint someone to fill the trustee post he will be vacating. Trustees winning re-election without opposition were Jeff Dorschner, 144 votes, and Fred Franzen, 156 votes.
Village of Pound: Circuit Court Judge James Morrison was the highest vote-getter, with 53 votes from the 57 ballots that were cast. Incumbent President Terry Earley, unopposed for return to office, drew 49 votes, and incumbent Trustee John Homontowski received 36 votes. Incumbent Trustee Gerald Rogge had filed a notice of non-candidacy and Michael Rogodzinski, unopposed to fill that position, received 44 votes.
Village of Wausaukee: There were 102 ballots cast. With no opposition, Incumbent Village President Hilbert Radtke won return to office with 78 votes. One of the three trustee post to be filled had been left vacant by the passing of Ray Gordon in January, and Trustee Joleen Christ had filed a notice of non-candidacy. Candidates on the ballot for the three trustee posts to be filled were incumbent Lowell (Mack) McKim, who received 51 votes, and Darryll Schmidt, who received 64 votes. There were 33 votes for write-in candidate JoAnn Polomis, 21 for write-in candidate Steve (Jet) Stumbris, and two write-in votes for Walt Gruszynski, who had not announced as a candidate.
Town of Amberg: In the only ballot contest Supervisor I incumbent Ron Holmes, with 141 votes, won over challenger Rick Downs, with 80 votes. Other incumbents returned to office without opposition were Town Chair Matt Mattison, 161 votes; Supervisor II Russell Werner, 164 votes; Clerk Pat Boshen, 179 votes and Treasurer Lisle Suzawith, top vote getter with 197 votes.
Town of Athelstane: Incumbent Supervisor 1 Harold Tesch, Jr., with 83 votes, lost to challenger Denis DeJardin, who drew 101 votes. Returned to office without opposition were Town Chair Kelly Barnes, 139 votes; Supervisor II David William Jose, 160 votes; Clerk Janice DuChateau, 166 votes, and Treasurer Gregory Reinhardt, 152 votes.
Town of Beaver: All incumbents are candidates for return to office and there are no challengers. There were 221 voters. There were 171 votes cast for Town Chair David Bedora, 174 votes for Supervisor Jerome Fendryk and 152 votes for Supervisor Vernon Gisenas.
Town of Beecher: There was no competition and 211 voters cast their ballots. Incumbents returned to office were Town Chair Robert Gehri with 189 votes, Supervisor Daniel Groy with 191 votes, Supervisor John Keeley with 190 votes, Clerk Cynthia Butterfield with 194 votes, and Treasurer Carolee Hirte, with 193 votes. In the Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine school board race, Town of Beecher voters cast 79 ballots for write-in candidate James Brent Griffin to 118 for incumbent Ryan Berger.
Town of Dunbar: The Clerk/Treasurer post has become an appointed position rather than elected and was not on the ballot. There was no opposition for town offices. There were 166 votes for incumbent Chair Harry Sokel, 153 for Supervisor 1 Joseph Stoll and 159 for Supervisor 2 David White. Town of Dunbar voters cast 93 ballots in favor of returning incumbent Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine school board member Ryan Berger to office.
Town of Goodman: All incumbents had filed for re-election, and there was no opposition. Alfred Barribeau drew 275 votes to win the newly created position of Goodman Municipal Judge. Incumbents returned to office unopposed were Chair Bill Stankevich, 278 votes; Supervisor Steve Gostisha, 285 votes; Supervisor James LaChapell, 284 votes; Clerk Susan Pratt, 285 votes, and Treasurer Cindy Nelson, 292 votes. There were 206 ballots cast in favor of the school funding referendum and 114 votes against.
Town of Grover: A total of 273 voters came to the polls. Incumbent Constable Doug Witak filed a notice of non-candidacy and there was no one seeking that position. There were 15 scattered write-in votes for that position, including three for Witak, who said he will not accept; two for Brian Tonn and two for Donald Duck. The town board apparently will need to appoint. Incumbents returned to office unopposed are Chair Wayne Staidl, 226 votes; Supervisor I Kim Kittredge, 223 votes; Supervisor II Brad Wyss, 224 votes, and Clerk/Treasurer Lisa Witak, 236 votes.
Town of Lake: Incumbent Supervisor Travis J. Mueller won return to office with 146 votes, to defeat challenger William Retza, Jr., who drew 84 votes. Incumbents unopposed for return to office are Town Chair Dan Banaszak, 231 votes; Supervisor I Cory L. Sotka, 228 votes, and Clerk/Treasurer Linda Tarmann, 234 votes. There were 14 votes in favor of the Marinette School Board redistricting referendum and 14 against.Only a small portion of the town is in the Marinette School District.
Town of Middle Inlet: Of the 214 voters who came to the polls, 171 cast their ballots for Incumbent Town Chair Richard Wade, who was unopposed, as were Supervisors Donald R. Van, Sr. 138 votes, and Supervisor Ronald Wenzel, 159 votes. The elected Clerk/Treasurer post currently held by Chuck Stanek has been eliminated, and will be filled by town board appointment when Stanek's current term ends on April 16.
Town of Niagara: There were no contests for town office. Incumbents returned to office were Town Chair Mark DeClark, 170 votes; Supervisor Ronald Neuens, 144 votes, and Clerk Dawn Johnson, 174 votes. Supervisor Richard Payette had filed a statement of non-candidacy and David Sanicki, with 138 votes and n o opposition, was elected to replace him. In voting for positions on Niagara School Board town electors cast 139 ballots for Patricia Sparapani, 149 for Ann Brasure and 150 for Lisa Swanson.
Town of Pembine: By a narrow 20-vote margin Ross Bole, with 125 votes, was elected to fill the town chair position being vacated by Louis Linsmeyer, who filed a notice of non-candidacy. Todd Kelly, who also sought the position, lost with 105 votes. Incumbent supervisors, unopposed for return to office were Vince Czahor, 177 votes and Michael Newingham, 186 votes. For Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine School Board, Town of Pembine voters cast 128 ballots for incumbent Ryan Berger and 102 for write-in candidate James Brent Griffin.
Town of Peshtigo: In a hotly contested election, former Town Chair Herman Pottratz drew 566 votes to win return to office over incumbent Denise Wiedemeier, with 449 votes. Wiedemeier defeated Pottratz for the Town Chair position two years ago. Long-time Supervisor 2 Mark Monnette drew 449 votes, not enough to win over challenger Jon P. Drees, who won with 555 votes. Supervisor 1 incumbent Dan Staudenmaier drew 530 votes, winning return to office over challenger Tim Bergeson, who drew 472 votes. In the only uncontested position on the ballot, incumbent Town Constable Rick Badgley was returned to office with 913 votes. A total of 1,062 ballots were cast by Town of Peshtigo voters. Town of Peshtigo voters in the Marinette School District favored the redistricting referendum by a margin of 412 to 135.
Town of Pound: Voters elected incumbent John Gaffney, with 150 votes and Dennis Fiedorowicz with 214 votes to fill the two town supervisor posts. Challenger Glenn L. Broderick, with 111 votes, was eliminated. Incumbent Supervisor Leonard Semrau has filed a notice of non-candidacy. Incumbents winning return to office unopposed were Town Chair Jerry Heroux, 273 votes; Clerk Jessica Olson, 264 votes, and Treasurer Janelle Rymer, 270 votes.
Town of Porterfield: There were a total of 361 voters. Dennis Bergeson, with 310 votes, was elected to fill the Town Chair position vacated by Dan Marzu,who had filed a notice of non-candidacy. Returned to office without opposition were incumbents Supervisor 1 Audrey Guseck, 293 votes; Supervisor 2 Donald Limberg, 294 votes; Clerk Amy Linstad, 315 votes, and Treasurer Wendell Philipps, 325 votes.
Town of Silver Cliff: The only incumbents seeking return to office were Treasurer Carol Kitchmaster and Constable Scott Baldwin, and both were unopposed. There were 215 votes for Kitchmaster and 205 votes for Baldwin. Chair Henry Burkel and Supervisors Jeff Schaal and Bruce Weber had all filed notices of non candidacy, as did Town Clerk Stefanie Bishop. Dana Weber, as the sole candidate on the ballot to replace Bishop, won the clerk position with 199 votes. Christopher Norton and Incumbent Supervisor Bruce Weber contended for Town Chair post being vacated by Burkel. Weber won, with 132 votes, to 91 votes for Norton. Norton had also been on the candidate list for Supervisor I and Supervisor II positions but was eliminated as a competitor for those posts in the February 19 primary election. In a contest for the Supervisor I post, Riana Ventura-Bishop drew 121 votes to defeat Cindy Jonet, who received 102 votes. Jonet was also on the ballot as a candidates for the Supervisor 2 position. In that contest she lost to Sue Victoreen. There were 136 votes for Victoreen and 91 for Jonet.
Town of Stephenson: There were no contests on the ballot. Incumbent Chair Mike Kudick drew 381 votes in his unopposed bid for return to office. Supervisor 1 incumbent Jim Stradl was returned to office with 356 votes. Incumbent Supervisor 3 Rick Kikulski did not seek return to office. Jeff Franzmaier drew 387 votes to win that position. Clerk Elaine Olson and Treasurer Mary Jane Kempka, both unopposed, won return to office with 408 votes for Olson and 412 for Kempka. A total of 454 voters cast their ballots in the Town of Stehenson,
Town of Wagner: Lynn Hickey, sole candidate on the ballot for Town Chair, lost to write-in challenger Steve Renikow. There were 157 votes for Renikow and 111 for Hickey. Hickey was an incumbent due to being reappointed to the board in February after resigning from that position in April of 2018. At the March 12 Wagner Town Board meeting Renikow had announced his candidacy for the town chair post, and appointed Town Clerk Cassie Brown announced that she was a write-in candidate for election to the clerk's position. The name of incumbent Town Clerk Linda Wilke remained on the ballot, but Wilke resigned in February due to some health issues and had stated she would not accept the office if elected. There were 55 ballots cast for Wilke and 189 write-in votes for Brown. Treasurer Linda F. LaRochelle, who was appointed to the office she holds, drew 233 votes for election to the position. Supervisors Mollie Arthur, unopposed for return to office, drew 190 votes. Supervisor Ed Delfosse, who has served as supervisor since April of 2018, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Supervisor Allen Sievert, was elected to a full two-year term with 218 votes.
Town of Wausaukee: All incumbents had filed for return to office and there were no challengers. Elected for new two-year terms are Chair Jeff Englemann, 232 votes; Supervisor Robert Jicha, 235 votes; Supervisor David Tomasino, 226 votes; Clerk Cheryl Stumbris, 242 votes, and Treasurer Sally Hultquist, 240 votes.
Crivitz and Goodman were the only two school districts in TIMESland with contests on the ballot. Crivitz had five candidates for three positions, and Goodman had four candidates for two positions, as well as a funding referendum for voters to decide.
Beecher-Dunbar-Pembine School Board,Town of Pembine reporesentative: Incumbent Ryan Berger, the only ballot candidate, won return to office with 339 votes district-wide, despite a strong challenge from write-in candidate James Brent Griffin, who received 257 votes.
Colman School Board: Incumbents Jeremy Hoida and Board President Ryan Wendt, unopposed, won return to office with 791 votes for Wendt and 790 for Hoida. In the third position being filled at this election, incumbent Jamie Graetz filed a notice of non-candidacy. Barbara Van Drisse, a former member of the board, won his position with 742 votes. There was no opposition.
Crivitz School Board: There were five candidates seeking to fill three spots on the board. Incumbent Amy Grandaw, with 778 votes, was returned to the board. Newly elected to the board were Crivitz Police Chief Michael Frievalt, with 804 votes and Kayla Gauthier-Ihde with 685 votes. Unsuccessful candidates were Linda Tarmann, with 621 votes and incumbent Cory Sotka, with 524 votes. Incumbent Travis Mueller had filed a notice of non-candidacy.
Goodman-Armstrong Creek School Board: By a margin of 316 to 219 voters approved a referendum question that allows the final school disrict budget for the next three years to include an amount not to exceed $750,000 over the state-imposed levy limits. The referendum specifies that it is non-recurring, and the revenue limit excess becomes efective with the 2019-2020 school year and ends with the 2021-2022 school year. Vote was 206 in favor and 114 opposed in the Town of Goodman. In the Town of Armstrong Creek the margin was closer - 110 in favor and 105 opposed.
There were four candidates for seats on the board, and two seats to be filled. Winners were incumbents Laura Klescewski, 274 votes, and Timothy Barribeau, 284 votes. Challenger Scott P. Goode drew 164 votes and and Stanley David Millan drew 202 votes
Lena School Board: Incumbent Kristan Huberty filed a notice of non-candidacy. Unopposed candidates for the two year terms was Timothy A. Goldschmidt, who recieved 368 votes, and incumbent Edward Huberty, who recieved 385 votes.
Marinette School Board: There were no contests except the referendum to provide for district-wide board representation which was approved by a 772 to 328 vote margin. Incumbents returned to office unopposed were Charles Rowell, Jr.,1,419 votes, Eric Craver, 1,462 votes, and Terri Florek, 1.638 votes, all representing city residents. A Board of Canvassers will canvass results beginning at noon Monday, April 8, in the District Office Small Conference Room.
Niagara School Board: All three incumbents were on the ballot for re-election without opposition. Ann Brasure and Patti Sparapani each recieved 307 votes, and there were 312 ballos cast for Lisa Swanson.
Peshtigo School Board: There were four seats to be filled and four candidates seeking to fill them. Elected to the positions were Jenni Schwittay, 840 votes, Mariel Carter, 835 votes, and incumbents Kelly Jones, 832 votes and Mike Finger, 880 votes. Veteran board members Bob Thomas and Tom Fischer both filed notices of non-candidacy.
Wausaukee School Board: Incumbents Joe Lanich and Sherri Schlies were unopposed for return to their board positions. District-wide there were 921 votes for Schlies and 789 for Lanich and both were returned o office. Votes came from electors in the towns of Amberg, Athelstane,Middle Inlet, Porterfield, Silver Cliff, Wagner, and Wausaukee and the Village of Wausaukee.
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