Merrill area voters will have some choices to make next Tuesday in the spring general election. Contested races will be decided City of Merrill, Lincoln County Board and Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education offices.
City of Merrill
For Merrill Mayor, incumbent Bill Bialecki’s is the only name on the ballot. However, John Kaufman has mounted a write-in challenge to unseat Bialecki.
For city clerk, incumbent Bill Heideman is being challenged by Stephanie Schwartzman.
Incumbent District 2 Alderman Steve Hass is not seeking re-election. Running to succeed Hass are Pete Lokemoen and Michael Caylor Jr.
In District 8, incumbent Anne Caylor is on the ballot. However, she has announced she is no longer seeking re-election due to a job-related move to Appleton. Tim Meehean has declared a write-in candidacy for the District 8 seat.
In District 3, incumbent Ryan Schwartzman had initially not intended to run, so his name will not appear on the ballot. But, with the recent and unanticipated sale of his business, he is now running for re-election as a write-in candidate.
All other incumbent alderpersons are unopposed for re-election, including Chris Malm in District 1, Kandy Peterson in District 4, John Burgener in District 5, David Sukow in District 6 and Rob Norton in District 7. Street Commissioner Dick Lupton is also unopposed for re-election.
For the newly-created position of Joint Municipal Court Judge, who will preside over municipal cases for the cities of Merrill and Tomahawk, two candidates have come forward. Merle (Jim) Sheridan, who currently serves as Merrill’s municipal judge, and retired Merrill police chief Ned Seubert, are seeking a seat on the new bench. Voters of both cities will elect the new Joint Municipal Court Judge.
Lincoln County Board
District 3 incumbent Ray Bloomer is not running for re-election. There will be no names on the ballot for District 3, but Ryan Schwartzman is seeking the county supervisor seat as a write-in candidate.
In District 4, appointed incumbent Jeff Hetfeld is being challenge by Corey Nowak. In District 5, incumbent Frank Saal, Jr. faces a challenge from Garth Swanson. Rob Norton is challenging incumbent Greta Rusch in District 7, Julie Allen is challenging incumbent David Fox in District 19 and District 22 incumbent Graham Rankin is being challenged by Jolene Callahan. Also, District 10 incumbent Bruce Giese will not seek re-election. Running to replace Giese is Loretta Baughan.
All other incumbent supervisors are unopposed for re-election, including: Dan Caylor, District 1; Robert Weaver, District 2; Patricia Woller, District 6; R. Wayne Plant, District 8; William Zietz, District 9; Hans Breitenmoser, Jr., District 11; Paul Gilk, District 12; James Alber, District 13; Robert Lussow, District 14; Robert Lee, District 15; Michael Loka, District 16; Donald Nelson, District 17; John Bailey, District 18; Carl Vander Sanden, District 20; and Courtney Pike, District 21.
Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education
School Board seats currently held by Eugene Bondioli, Brad Geiss, Loretta Baughan and Linda Yingling are up for election in this election.
Neither Geiss nor Bondiolo are seeking re-election. Both Baughan and Yingling are running, joined on the ballot by challengers Kevin Blake, Jeff Hetfeld, Jeremy Ratliff and Eric Geiss. Bill Fehrmann is also on the ballot, but has announced he is no longer interested in being elected.