School, county referendums, few competitive races to appear on Spring Election ballots
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
NORTHERN WISCONSIN – Roughly a handful of competitive races will be decided and multiple referendums will be voted on in the April 6, 2021 Spring Election.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Wisconsin voters will decide the state’s next Superintendent of Public Instruction. Carolyn Stanford Taylor, who has held the seat since being appointed by Governor Tony Evers in 2019, chose not to run for reelection.
Deborah Kerr, former superintendent of the Brown Deer School District, will face current Pecatonica School District superintendent Jill Underly.
Kerr has served as President of the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators and has voiced her support for school vouchers and charter schools. She has been endorsed by former governor Scott Walker and previously praised Act 10, which ended collective bargaining rights for some public employees and requires most public employees to pay half of their pension costs and at least 12.6% of their health care premiums.
Underly has worked as teacher, principal, university advisor, and with Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She has spoken out against public funding for vouchers and has been endorsed by the Wisconsin Education Association Council, the statewide teachers’ union. She has criticized Kerr’s praise of Act 10.
Wisconsin Court of Appeals
Rick Cveykus and Greg Gill Jr. are set to face off for the District III seat on the state’s Court of Appeals. District III covers 35 counties, including Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Price, and Vilas, in the northern half of the state.
The victor will replace Mark A. Seidl, who was elected in 2015 and is not seeking reelection to the bench.
Cveykus is a criminal defense attorney in Wausau, practicing criminal law, family law, and small claims. He has served as President of the Marathon County Bar and the Marathon County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Gill was appointed by former governor Scott Walker to serve as an Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge. He has been reelected twice since his appointment in 2011. Gill has been backed by prominent state conservatives, including U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), State Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), John Menard and Richard Uihlein.
Lincoln County referendum
Lincoln County voters will vote on an advisory referendum asking if the county should be allowed to exceed levy limits by $700,000 per year from 2022 to 2026 to fund Highway Department operations and road maintenance.
The additional $700,000 per year levy would have an estimated $26.40 tax impact on a $100,000 home.
City of Tomahawk
The City of Tomahawk will see no competitive alderperson races.
District 1 alderperson Ed Nystrom (Wards 1-2), District 2 alderperson Will Garske (Wards 3-4), and District 3 alderperson Michael Loka (Wards 5-6) will each run for their respective seats unopposed.
Tomahawk School Board
Two candidates filed paperwork for three open seats on the School District of Tomahawk Board of Education.
Incumbent Deb Velleux will run unopposed to represent the City of Tomahawk on the board. Incumbent Cathy Schmit did not file paperwork for the other City of Tomahawk seat, which will likely be decided by write-in.
Incumbent Cherie Hafeman filed paperwork and will run unopposed for the seat representing the Townships of Bradley, Birch, Skanawan, Tomahawk, and Rock Falls.
School District of Tomahawk referendum
School District of Tomahawk voters will again vote on a referendum after narrowly rejecting one last year.
The district will ask voters for $3.25 million per year for four years.
The district’s Nov. 2020 referendum, which sought $3.5 million per year for four years, was defeated by 51 votes.
Town of Birch
David J. Fox will not face an opponent for the Town Board Chairperson post.
Debbie Gano and Terry L. Lokemoen are running for two open seats on the Town of Birch Board of Supervisors.
Cynthia R. Lokemoen and Marlene S. Fox are running unopposed for Clerk and Treasurer, respectively.
Town of Bradley
In the Town of Bradley, Kevin Koth (Town Board Chairperson), Joan Hilgendorf (Town Board Supervisor), Phyllis J. Evans (Treasurer), and Terry Hagar (Constable) are each running for their respective seats unopposed.
Town of Corning
John Kudick will not face an opponent the for Town of Corning Board Chairperson position, while Todd Luedtke and Jeff Simon will run for the town’s two open Supervisor posts.
Rick Hass (Clerk) and Katie Giese (Treasurer) will run unopposed.
Town of Harding
Mike Hornischer (Town Board Chairperson), Kristy Ament (Clerk) and Carrie Hintz (Treasurer) will each run for their respective posts unopposed, while John M. Tomajcik Sr. and Jason Ament will run for the Town of Harding’s two open Supervisor seats.
Town of Harrison
The Town of Harrison will see Brian Hanson (Town Board Chairperson), Kathy Voermans (Clerk) and Matt Boyle (Treasurer) run for their respective positions unopposed.
Tom Daigle and Gary Goes will run for the town’s two open Supervisor posts.
Town of King
Terry Weise will not face an opponent for the Town Chairperson post in the Town of King.
Georgene Linden and Julie L. Allen are set to run unopposed for Clerk and Treasurer, respectively, while Andrew Tomaszewski and Mark A. Martello will run for the town’s two open Supervisor positions.
Town of Merrill
In one of the area’s few competitive races, Darrel Dengel and Scott Streich will face off for the Town of Merrill Board Chairperson post.
Michael Hass and Larry Simon are set to run for the town’s two open Supervisor seats.
Town of Nokomis
There will be one competitive race in the Town of Nokomis.
Wendy Smith and Kim DeBels will face off for the Town Clerk post, while Bette Stillman and Brian Schmidt will run for the town’s two open Supervisor seats. Gary Luedke and Judi Asmondy will run unopposed for Town Board Chairperson and Treasurer, respectively.
Town of Pine River
David Breunig (Town Board Chairperson), Amanda Gruetzmacher-Herdt (Clerk), Donna Opper (Treasurer), and Hannah Zastrow (Constable) will each run for their respective posts unopposed, while Steve Uttech and Raymond Zastrow will run for the Town of Pine River’s two open Supervisor positions.
Town of Rock Falls
Michael Specht will not face an opponent for the Town Board Chairperson post in the Town of Rock Falls. Tim Panfil and George Alery will run for the town’s two open Supervisor seats, while Heather Block and Cindy Frish will run unopposed for Clerk and Treasurer, respectively.
Town of Russell
The Town of Russell will see one competitive race.
David Heller, Marty Sosnovske and Nathan B. Roggenbuck are vying for the town’s two open Supervisor positions. Robert L. Kressel (Town Board Chairperson), Amy Brown (Clerk), and Susan L. Fischer (Treasurer) will each run for their respective posts unopposed.
Town of Schley
In the Town of Schley, Rick L. Dorn (Town Board Chairperson), Becky Dallman (Clerk), and Susan Podeweltz (Treasurer) will not face opponents for their respective positions, while Gerald Plamann and Tim M. Klimek are running for the two open seats on the town’s Board of Supervisors.
Town of Scott
Michael Woller will not face an opponent for the Town Board Chairperson post, while Peter Rajek Jr. and Gerald Engel will run for the Town of Scott’s two open Supervisor seats.
Becky Byer and Ann Krueger will run unopposed for Clerk and Treasurer, respectively.
Town of Skanawan
In another competitive local race, John S. Lazarz, Michael J. Lucas, and Walter H. Horabik will vie for the two open seats on the Town of Skanawan Board of Supervisors.
Benjamin Mehring (Town Board Chairperson), Loyetta K. Dennis (Clerk), and Jean M. Zoellner (Treasurer) will each run for their respective posts unopposed.
Town of Somo
Scott Melquist (Town Board Chairperson), Heather Marheine (Clerk) and Jody L. Isaacson (Treasurer) will not face opponents in the races for their respective posts, while Steve Isaacson and Corey Marheine will run for the Town of Somo’s two open Supervisor seats.
Town of Tomahawk
In the Town of Tomahawk, Gary Jaecks (Town Board Chairperson), Jesse Hoffman (Clerk) and Loretta Wanta (Treasurer) will each run for their respective positions unopposed.
Dale Wanta will be the only Supervisor candidate on the ballot.
Town of Wilson
Timothy D. Ketcham, Allen Russ, and Dan Sennett will face off for the Town of Wilson’s two open Supervisor seats, while Fran Plum (Town Board Chairperson), Teresa Lepkowski (Clerk) and Laurie L. Peterson (Treasurer) will not face opponents in their respective races.
Merrill School Board
Voters in the Merrill School District will choose from a pool of five candidates – Dallas Seiwert, Brett Woller, Kendra Osness, Chad Krueger, and Maria Volpe – to fill four open seats on the district’s Board of Education.