RACINE — Mark Balcer, who ran unsuccessfully as a candidate in the Feb. 19 primary for Racine’s 13th aldermanic district, placing third in a field of three, has registered as a write-in candidate for the April 2 general election.
Balcer is running against candidates Natalia Taft and Christina Seaman in a race that has featured many twists and turns. Balcer said that, especially considering recent allegations about Seaman, he wanted to give Taft some competition and offer voters an “anti-drama candidate.”
Before last month’s primary, allegations of dirty campaigning were reported by The Journal Times. A series of text messages claiming to be Taft were reportedly sent to constituents and Seaman and Balcer claimed that someone had attempted to destroy their campaign materials.
After the primary, The Journal Times learned that multiple individuals had sought restraining orders against Seaman, and that allegations surfaced of Seaman using a pseudonym to send campaign-related text messages and a racial slur in a message sent from a phone traced to her.
The Journal Times has tried multiple times to reach Seaman for comment but has not receive a response.
“I have to tell you, the last couple of weeks have been bombarded with drama with the other candidates,” said Balcer. “The people of this district deserve better than a soap opera.”
Balcer said one of his friends connected to HOT Government, a grassroots movement advocating for greater transparency and the removal of City Attorney Scott Letteney from office, called him and asked him to throw his hat in the ring once again.
While he knows winning as a write-in is an uphill battle, he’s giving it a shot. As an officially registered write-in candidate, election officials must specifically tally write-in ballots with Balcer’s name.
“I just want to represent,” he said. “It’s not about the peripherals — it’s about representing.”
Balcer, 67, of the 1500 block of Lathrop Avenue, works as a manufacturing consultant.
In the Feb. 19 primary, Taft received 126 votes and Seaman received 54. Balcer received 38 and was eliminated from advancing.
13th District drama
Seaman, who works in retail, and Taft, an assistant biology professor who also serves as vice president of the city’s Water Commission, will have their names on the April 2 ballot. They are running for the 13th District seat currently represented by Alderman Jim Morgenroth, who decided not to run for re-election.
The 13th District is roughly bounded by 13th Street on the north, Illinois Street or Lathrop Avenue on the west, West Boulevard on the east and 21st Street on the south. There is also a small ancillary section between 18th and 20th streets running roughly from West Boulevard east to Taylor Avenue.