RACINE COUNTY — As of midnight Saturday, candidates across the county are allowed to start circulating nomination papers for the upcoming April 2 spring election.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Jan. 2 to file those papers with the appropriate municipality or school district to ensure their names will end up on the ballots. Should more than two candidates file for any open position, a primary election will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 19.
On April 2, Racine Mayor Cory Mason will face his first re-election bid, the Mount Pleasant Village Board could see a shake-up resulting from Foxconn controversies, Caledonia faces its first election since approving the quarry expansion, and three judge positions need to be filled, including one on the state Supreme Court.
Here’s a look at some of the most prominent offices that will hold elections in Racine County this spring:
A new Wisconsin Supreme Court justice needs to be elected in April.
Former Chief Justice Shirley S. Abrahamson, the first female ever to serve on the state Supreme Court and its longest-serving justice of all-time (41 years) — has decided not to run for re-election. Supreme Court justices serve 10-year terms. Among the announced candidates is Racine resident Lisa Neubauer, currently a judge on the state Court of Appeals.
There will also be a Court of Appeals election for District 2, which includes 12 counties in southeastern Wisconsin but not Milwaukee County. Incumbent Mark Gundrum is up for re-election for a six-year term.
For the Racine Circuit Court, Judge Jon E. Fredrickson will face his first election in Branch 7 after being appointed in September by Gov. Scott Walker. A former Racine County public defender, Jamie McClendon, has already announced that she will be running for the position.
County Executive Jonathan Delagrave, first elected by more than a 3-to-1 margin in 2015, will also have his first opportunity to try to hold onto his post, if he so desires.
City of Racine
Mason, after winning the special mayoral election in October 2017 following John Dickert’s resignation, will have the opportunity to to run for a full four-year term this April.
All of the odd-numbered City of Racine aldermanic positions will be up for election as well this April. Aldermen serve a two-year term. One of the incumbents, Terry McCarthy of District 9, has already he announced he will not seek re-election.
The districts that will have elections are as follows:
- District 1 (east): incumbent Jeff Coe
- District 3 (central): incumbent John Tate II
- District 5 (northeast): incumbent Steve Smetana
- District 7 (northwest): incumbent Maurice Horton, appointed in November after death of Ray DeHahn
- District 9 (west-central): incumbent Terry McCarthy, not running for re-election
- District 11 (south-central): incumbent Mary Land
- District 13 (southwest): incumbent James Morgenroth
- District 15 (northwest): incumbent Melissa Lemke
Three elected officials from Racine Unified School District will have their terms expire in April: District 1 Rep. Michelle Duchow, District 8 Rep. Matthew Hanser, and District 9 Rep. Robert Wittke Jr.
Wittke, who currently serves as School Board president, was elected in November as state representative for the 62nd state Assembly District. On Friday, Wittke said he is still deciding whether or not he wants to run for the RUSD School Board again.
Duchow was first elected to the School Board n 2016. She resigned from her position on the Sturtevant Village Board in 2017.
Hanser, a political newcomer, was first elected in 2016, defeating then Board President Melvin Hargrove.
The winners of each Racine Unified election will serve a three-year term.
Village of Mount Pleasant
Four Mount Pleasant Village Board members, including Village President Dave DeGroot, will find their names on the ballot should they choose to run for re-election.
The village trustee terms expiring in April are: Trustee No. 1 John Hewitt, who has been a trustee since the early 2000s; Trustee No. 3 Sonny Havn, who has served on the board multiple times since the 1990s; and Trustee No. 5 Ram Bhatia, a retired engineer first elected in April 2018, will all have their current terms expire in April.
All seats up for contention are two-year terms.
Village of Caledonia
This will be the first election since the expansion of the Payne & Dolan quarry was approved by the Caledonia Village Board on Sept. 4, a decision that led to some village residents calling for new leadership while others applauded the controversial vote.
Village Board terms up for election in April are Village President Jim Dobbs and trustees Kevin Wanggaard, David Prott and Jay Benkowski. Dobbs, Wanggaard and Prott all voted in favor of the quarry expansion. Benkowski was opposed.
Village Clerk Karie Torkilsen also faces re-election to a four-year term.
City of Burlington
One of the aldermen from each of the City of Burlington’s four aldermanic districts will have their term expire in April. They are as follows:
- 1st District (northeast): Susan Kott, who serves on the Historic Preservation Commission.
- 2nd District (south): Bob Grandi, serves on the Burlington Aquatic Center Committee and the Plan Commission.
- 3rd District (southwest): Council President Jon Schultz, serves on the Community Development Authority.
- 4th District (northwest): Todd Bauman, serves on the Park Board.
There will also be spring elections in most of the other villages, towns and school districts in the county.