County Board has area’s only contested election

There will be one contested election, for Dane County Board, among all the local races that hold to the state’s traditional nominating process this spring.

In that election, incumbent Jerry Bollig faces a challenge from Todd Kluever for the seat that represents the Village and Town of Oregon.

Two area towns, Rutland and Oregon, hold caucuses to select candidates. The Town of Oregon’s was scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 8, and Rutland’s is Jan. 21.

All the other local governments will have uncontested elections. The Village of Brooklyn has one open spot with no challenger, the Oregon School District has two new people running for two vacant seats and the Village of Oregon has only incumbents running unopposed.

The Town of Dunn has no elections this year, as all three elected officials are elected in odd-numbered years.

The spring election will be held across the state Tuesday, April 7. The election, in addition to local and regional races, will feature primaries for the November presidential election and U.S. House of Representatives. No primaries for the U.S. Senate will be held in Wisconsin this year.

Statewide, there are two people hoping to unseat David Kelly as a justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Ed Fallone and Jill Karofsky. The seat is nominally nonpartisan, though each candidate is backed by traditionally conservative or liberal groups.

Oregon School District

With three candidates for three school board seats, it appears the first OSD elections since seats were reapportioned in September will be uncontested.

Still, there will be something to decide, with two candidates vying for a three-year term versus two years. And both are newcomers.

Up for election are Seats 1 and 2 Area II, held by Courtney Odorico and Barb Feeney, respectively, and Seat 1 in Area III held Tim LeBrun. Only LeBrun is seeking re-election.

Running in Area II are newcomers Heather Garison and Kevin Mehring, with the top vote-getter receiving a three-year term; the runner-up two years.

The reapportionment, designed to match up representation with the fast-growing northern part of the district, gave Area II (City of Fitchburg and towns of Blooming Grove and Dunn) a second seat. To offset election years for the area in the future, district officials decided to make one of the terms two years initially, and then it would revert to a three-year term for the April 2022 election.

Garison wrote in an email to the Observer her initial thoughts on areas of focus fit well with OSD values, including more play-based learning, promoting diversity and inclusion, increasing the nutritional value of lunches, and further supporting teachers.

“Our family is grateful to be a part of a fantastic school district and look forward to giving back,” she wrote.

Mehring wrote the Observer in an email he feels a responsibility to give back as his four boys move through the district.

“It starts with the passionate administrators and the dedicated teachers at all of our schools,” he wrote. “With the ongoing and anticipated growth of the district, especially in the northern portion where we currently reside, strong and proven leadership will be important to continue the fine work the current and past boards have done. I look forward to listening to all the constituents’ view on how we can continue to keep Oregon on a great path.”

The Area III seat held by LeBrun and covering the towns of Rutland, Montrose, Oregon, Brooklyn, Union and the Village of Brooklyn, is a three-year term. In an email to the Observer, Le Brun wrote that the board has “lots on its plate” in 2020, with issues including school start times, a growing district population and transition at the superintendent role.

“We’ve got a great team of board members and anticipate a couple of new additions who will bring new ideas and perspectives to both ongoing and new issues we are facing over the next several years,” he wrote. “The board makeup provides perspectives of parents of both school-age and graduated Oregon school district kids.”

Dane County

All three Dane County Board of Supervisors incumbents are up for election this year are running for re-election.

Bollig, who is also a Village of Oregon board trustee, is being challenged by Kluever for the seat that represents the Village and Town of Oregon.

Sups. Patrick Miles and Ann DeGarmo, who represent the Town of Dunn and the City of Fitchburg, respectively, are both running unopposed.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge William Hanrahan is up for re-election, as are three Court of Appeals seats.

Village of Brooklyn

There are no challengers for a seats vacated by incumbent Sue McCallum and Kyle Smith.

Board member Dan Olson will run for his seat for the first time in a general election. Olson, a 48-year resident of Brooklyn and former village public works employee, was selected to fill Scott Rosenow’s vacated seat in September, and will be focusing on upkeep of infrastructure as much as a “small community” can, he told the Observer.

Town of Oregon

The Town of Oregon was set to hold its caucus Tuesday to nominate the candidates who will run for the seats in the April election.

Both incumbents, Arlen Christensen and Phil Van Kampen, told the Observer they intended to participate in the caucus.

Town of Rutland

The Town of Rutland has two supervisor positions open for the spring election, and will nominate candidates at the annual caucus at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the town hall, 785 Center Road.

Terms are for two years. Supervisor seats held by Nancy Nedveck and Deana Zentner are open. As of last month, the two had not filed non-candidacy paperwork.

Village of Oregon

All three incumbents for the Village of Oregon board – David Donovan, Bollig and Amanda Peterson – will be uncontested as they vie for their seats again this spring.

Bollig told the Observer that he’s choosing to run again because as a long-time Oregon resident, he wants to contribute to “preserving the fine lifestyle” the village enjoys and maintain “responsible” debt levels.

Peterson said in an email to the Observer that one 2-year term wasn’t enough to accomplish her goals, which include building the library and bringing more affordable housing and public transit to the village.

“There is so much more to do in this vibrant, growing community,” she wrote in the email.

Reporters Emilie Heidemann, Scott De Laruelle and Renee Hickman contributed to this story.