Kewaunee County election results: 8 new supervisors expected to join county board
KEWAUNEE – It appears eight new supervisors will be sworn in when the Kewaunee County Board holds its next meeting.
Of the 20 seats on the board, six incumbent supervisors declared they would not seek reelection. Two incumbents were ousted in the April 7 election by political newcomers, according to results reported Monday, but the margin of defeat in one district is four votes and results aren't official until the Board of Canvassers ratifies them later this week.
The elections were mired in controversy across the state as its circumstances and deadlines rapidly changed within hours of election day.
Citing concerns over COVID-19 possibly spreading, Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order April 6 — the day before the scheduled election date — postponing it until June 9 because of concerns over crowds and lack of social distancing at the polls. Hours later, the Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the order, allowing in-person voting at all polling places despite the concerns.
Shortly after, the U.S. Supreme Court followed with a ruling that absentee ballots had to be received or postmarked by April 7. That reversed a lower court ruling that extended the deadline for absentee ballots to April 13.
Nevertheless, the pandemic was the driving force behind an avalanche of absentee ballot requests in Kewaunee County, which issued 3,992 of them for this election according to County Clerk Jamie Annoye. It's not yet known how many were returned in time to be counted, but the number issued is more than 70 percent of the almost 5,300 ballots cast in total. The county has 12,128 registered voters.
Only one of the six races without an incumbent was contested, in District 7, where Timothy Kinnard defeated Lisa Cochart, 179 to 121.
Meanwhile, Milt Swagel edged incumbent Mary Ellen Dobbins, 130 to 126, to win the seat for District 12 and John Wochos defeated incumbent Thomas Cretney in District 10, 200 to 95. Wochos has no political experience, while Swagel unsuccessfully ran for the board in 2018 and town of West Kewaunee chairperson last year.
Incumbents who defended their seats in contested County Board races are:
- District 6: Daniel Olson, 144; Donna Thomas, 79;
- District 8: Douglas Doell, 177; Frank Madzarevic, 59.
New board members who ran uncontested races after the incumbents chose to not run are:
- Nicholas Guilette in District 2;
- Doak Baker, District 4;
- Jeffrey Vollenweider, District 18; and
- Joanne Lazansky, District 20.
Also, Matthew Piesler was elected supervisor for District 5. No one submitted nomination papers for the seat and Piesler was the only registered write-in candidate.
All 10 other board seats were retained by incumbents seeking reelection without opposition:
- Gerald Paape in District 1;
- Chuck Wagner, District 3;
- Scott Jahnke, District 9;
- Aaron Augustian, District 11;
- Kim Kroll, District 13;
- Thomas Romdenne, District 14;
- Linda Teske, District 15;
- Virginia Haske, District 16;
- Joseph Lukes, District 17; and
- John Mastalir, District 19.
The board will vote for a new chairperson at its next meeting, scheduled for April 28, because current chairman Robert Weidner, District 4 supervisor for the past 20 years and chair for 14 of them, decided to not run for office. The new supervisors will be sworn in during the meeting, which is planned as a teleconference due to the pandemic.
Incumbents Timothy Kinnard and Francis Gilson retained their Casco village trustee seats. With two spots up for election, Kinnard received 122 votes, Gilson 109 and challenger Chad Cochart 82.
Kewaunee, Algoma, Luxemburg
Both county cities, Kewaunee and Algoma, saw mayors' and alderpersons' seats on the ballot, but none of the races was contested.
In Kewaunee, Jason Jelinek, the current alderperson in District 1, will become the new mayor after Sandi Christman chose to not seek a third term and no one else filed papers to run for the seat.
The city will have two new alderpersons, as well. Jeffrey Vollenweider replaces Jelinek in District 1 and James Brewster will represent District 2 after Alderman Jamie Jackson chose to not seek reelection. Incumbent alderpersons Janita Zimmerman and Dan Stangel in Districts 3 and 4, respectively, were reelected without opposition.
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Algoma Mayor Wayne Schmidt and alderspersons Kevin Schmidt (District 1), Scott Meverden (District 2) and Jake Maring (District 4) ran unopposed to retain their seats. Joining the City Council will be Casey Buhr, the only candidate in District 3 after Alderman Eugene Cleveland chose to not run again.
The Village of Luxemburg also had no contested races with three candidates — Suzanne Raduenz, Daniel Porath and Daniel Olson — for its three trustee seats.
The county's three school districts also had uncontested races for their school boards. Brian Vogeltanz and Paul Jirtle will serve in the Kewaunee School District; David Wessel and Piscilla Swoboda in Algoma; and Mike Driedric, Alex Mleziva and Jenny Salentine in Luxemburg-Casco.
Local results for statewide races saw President Donald Trump take all 2,823 of the Republican presidential primary votes in Kewaunee County, while former Vice President Joe Biden picked up 1,762 votes in the Democratic primary to Sen. Bernie Sanders' 589.
In the state Supreme Court race, Justice Daniel Kelly received 3,044 votes in Kewaunee County to challenger Jill Karofsky's 2,343, although Karofsky won statewide.
Also on the ballot was a statewide referendum on a victims' rights law, aka Marsy's Law. Kewaunee County voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of the referendum, 4,120 to 1,179, mirroring the statewide approval.
For a full listing of local results, visit kewauneeco.org and click on the "Elections" tab.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee County election results: 8 new supervisors expected to join county board