Contested races abound in spring election
As of Tuesday’s 5 PM deadline, the 2018 Spring election is taking shape with an array of contested races at both the city and the county levels.
The City of Merrill mayoral race will pit incumbent Bill Bialecki, who is seeking his third term, versus challenger Derek Woellner. The Merrill City Clerk position will also be contested as incumbent Bill Heideman will face newcomer Patricia Lindquist. Heidemann is seeking his fifth consecutive term in office, having been first elected in 1998.
In the city’s Common Council race, the 4th district seat currently held by Kandy Peterson will be headed for the Feb. 20 primary, as Steve Osness and Ron McAllister have stepped forward as challengers. Peterson has held the 4th district seat since 2010.
In the city’s third district, incumbent Ryan Schwartzman is seeking his fourth consecutive term and will be challenged by newcomer Eric Ott. Fifth District alderman and current council president John Burgener will be challenged by newcomer John Van Lieshout. Sixth district alderwoman Mary Ball did not file notice of non-candidacy, therefore the filing deadline for candidacy for that seat will remain open until 5 PM Friday evening. As of Wednesday morning, former 6th district alderman Dave Sukow was the sole candidate to have filed for candidacy.
The city’s 1st (Paul Russell), 2nd (Pete Lokemoen), 7th (Rob Norton) and 8th districts (Tim Meehean) will stand unopposed for another 2 year term.
Ron Liberty is the sole candidate for the city’s newly resurrected Street and Weed Commissioner position.
MAPS Board of Education
The MAPS School Board looks to remain intact with the exception of current board president Jen Seliger, who has filed for non-candidacy. Incumbents Jeremy Ratliff and Maria Volpe will secure three-year terms unopposed, along with newcomer Brett Woller. Ratliff will enter into his second term, being first elected in 2015.
Volpe was appointed in the summer of 2016 following the resignation of former board member Jeff Hetfeld. Volpe was re-elected for a one-year term last April.
The county board will also feature a few contested races as well. The 20th District seat currently held by Carl Vander Sanden- who will be seeking his third term- will be challenged by Dora Gorski.
In 2016 Tyler Mueller won out in both a primary and the general spring election, to secure the 3rd District seat in place of Ryan Schwartzman who filed for non-candidacy. The seat will be contested once again in April as Mueller’s 2016 adversary Ray Bloomer is challenging once again.
In the 6th Supervisory District, long time supervisor Patsy Woller has filed for non-candidacy and will be replaced by newcomer Norbert ‘Nubs’ Ashbeck. The Tenth District will feature incumbent Loretta Baughan who will be seeking her third term in office, versus challenger Jeremy Ratliff.
Last but not least, 13th District Supervisor Kirby Crosby-also elected in 2016- will face off with challenger Calvin Thomas Callahan.
All remaining districts well as Merrill-Tomahawk Municipal Court Judge Ned Seubert will proceed to another term, unopposed.
The 2018 Spring Election is set for April 3, 2018