There will be a contested race for the Stoughton Area school board April 2, with four candidates vying for three at-large seats.
The rest of the area elections are uncontested.
In the City of Stoughton, five aldermanic seats are up for election with only four candidates, a group that includes two incumbents and two newcomers.
Most area townships are holding nominating caucuses this month, while the Town of Dunkirk already has its candidates determined for all seats up for election.
Ballots will also include the statewide election for a state Supreme Court justice, with appellate court judges Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn vying to succeed retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson, and uncontested elections for a Dane County Circuit Court judge and Court of Appeals judges.
The primary election will be Tuesday, Feb. 19, while the general election is Tuesday, April 2.
The Stoughton Area school board race includes three incumbents and one newcomer.
Incumbents Joe Freye, Jill Patterson and Yolibeth Fitzgibbon are running again, as is newcomer Shawn Rundblade. The top three vote-getters will win three-year terms on the board.
In an email to the Hub, Rundblade said he decided to run for school board to “help make a difference in our children’s education” and to be an “advocate and champion for our teachers.”
“They are overworked and underpaid for the amazing things they do,” he said.”I also want to be a sincere voice for our students. I want to ensure they always have someone in their corner.”
Freye, the board’s vice-president and its longest-serving member, was first elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016. In an email to the Hub, he said he’s running for another term “because it is important work and I enjoy doing it.”
“Quality public education is vital to ensure that every student, regardless of means, can be a contributing member of society,” he said. “School boards set the policy and influence the culture of districts, and some level of continuity and experience is helpful in that work.”
Patterson was appointed out of three candidates last May to fill the remaining months of the term of Donna Tarpinian, who resigned to help care for an ill family member. In an email to the Hub, Patterson said she is “especially excited to be involved in the committee conducting a study that will help the district and the city refine a list of actions to help attract and retain young families to Stoughton and increase district enrollment.”
“I will continue to focus on doing what is best for all students and families in Stoughton and welcome ideas and input from the community,” she said.
Fitzgibbon joined the board in April 2015, when she was among three candidates who ran for three positions – two full, three-year terms and one the remaining year of another term. As the third-highest vote-getter, she filled out the one-year term, and the following year was re-elected to a three-year term.
City of Stoughton
There will be a pair of new faces on Stoughton’s Common Council this year and one spot with no candidates.
In District 2, Library Board member Jean Ligocki will run unopposed for the seat being vacated by Kathleen Tass Johnson. Ligocki, an educator and social worker who moved to Stoughton 13 years ago, told the Hub in an email “being a part of a community and helping it to grow has always been vital to my life.”
“I would like to focus on smart residential growth including attracting more young families to Stoughton; effectively utilizing our community’s assets like the Riverfront Development, downtown and other historic districts; and for continued investment in our dedicated services for seniors,” Ligocki wrote.
The other newcomer is Leonard (Ozzie) Doom in District 4, who will succeed Pat O’Connor.
Doom, who served for a decade on the City Council in Cottonwood, Minn., told the Hub he “has no big agenda” he wants to accomplish.
“I want to be a good listener and make sound decisions for both the city and the citizens of Stoughton,” Doom said.
The two incumbents in the race are Tom Majewski in District 3 and Timothy Riley, running for a one-year term in District 1.
The other District 1 seat up for election, to succeed Denise Duranczyk, did not get any nominees.
The towns of Pleasant Springs, Dunn, Rutland and Dunkirk all have elections this spring.
The 2019 Pleasant Springs caucus was held Jan. 8. Candidates for town chairperson, Supervisor No. 1 and Supervisor No. 2 will be nominated for a term of two years, ending in April 2021. Incumbents David Pfeiffer, Doug Larsson and Eric Olson are seeking re-election.
The Town of Dunn will have all four incumbents running unopposed for their seats: Ed Minihan for Town chair, Jeffrey Hodgson and Steven Greb for Town supervisors and Lana Mades for municipal judge.
In Rutland, the caucus is Jan. 15, with open positions of the town chair, one supervisor, clerk, treasurer and two constables.
There will be a bit of turnover in the Town of Dunkirk this spring, with longtime supervisor Eric Quam not seeking re-election to the seat he’s held since 1989. Running to succeed him is Daniel Jenks, and seeking re-election are incumbent chairman Norman Monsen, Supervisor II Ted Olson, treasurer Bonnie Smithback and constable Greg Holte.