RACINE — Overcoming light turnout, allegations of campaign improprieties in one district and the dropout of a candidate in another, voters on Tuesday narrowed the field of candidates in two city aldermanic districts.
Racine’s 1st and 13th Districts held primaries on Tuesday and the top-two vote-getters in each district now advance to the general election on April 2.
In the 1st District, which encompasses Downtown Racine and stretches into the near south side near the lakefront, incumbent Alderman Jeff Coe, a machinist, and challenger Susan Wagner, who works in administration, will be the candidates in the general election. Coe, who has served on the Council on and off since 2001, received 92 votes and Wagner received 35.
Scotty Martin, who was also on the ballot, told The Journal Times on Monday that he is no longer interested in the position. Martin said he filed for the position but later changed his mind. Nonetheless, Martin still received seven votes.
In a district which includes part of West Racine, Natalia Taft, an assistant biology professor who also serves as vice president of the city’s Water Commission, and Christina Seaman, who works in retail, will be moving on to the general election in April. Taft received 126 votes in Tuesday’s primary and Seaman received 54. The winner will replace Alderman Jim Morgenroth, who did not seek re-election.
Mark Balcer, a manufacturing consultant, received 38 votes in the primary and was eliminated from contention.
“I am looking forward to campaigning and continuing to meet with the wonderful people of District 13, spreading the positive message of unity, truth, safety and, most important, change,” Seaman wrote in a text message Tuesday.
“I’m thrilled,” Taft said Tuesday night. “I’m really honored that the voters have put their confidence in me … I’m looking forward to having a robust conversation about issues and a clean campaign.”
The 13th District primary race was tainted by allegations of dirty campaigning and fake identities. Two sets of text messages claiming to be from Taft’s campaign have been sent out over the last three weeks; Taft said neither she nor her campaign sent the texts.
One of Taft’s friends filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission about the texts on behalf of Taft and Taft told The Journal Times she has filed a complaint with the police.
Seaman and Balcer, meanwhile, claimed someone attempted to destroy their campaign materials, including yard signs.
There will also be contested elections on April 2 in city aldermanic districts 3, 5, 7 and 9.