While many incumbents in the Stoughton area on local or regional governmental bodies are choosing to re-run in the spring election, there are a few seats that will be filled by a newcomer.
Most notably in the City of Stoughton is Ald. Matt Bartlett (Dist. 4), who has decided against running for the seat. Bartlett cited conflicts with his children’s schedules and his plans to get a master’s degree in business administration.
Another seat on the Common Council has had no one declare candidacy. Ald. Timothy Riley (D-1) hasn’t said whether he plans to run for his seat again, a seat he was chosen for in June 2018 after Mayor Tim Swadley vacated the seat after a successful mayoral bid.
One-third of the seats on the nine-member school board of trustees for the Stoughton Area School District will be up for re-election this year. Incumbents John Coughlin, Tim Bubon and Steve Jackson will all see their three-year terms end in April. District clerk Becky Egan said none of the candidates has yet filed non-candidacy statements stating their intent to not run again.
The towns of Dunkirk and Dunn voters won’t have any local races to vote for this year – all of the elected officials, five in Dunkirk and three in Dunn, are decided in odd-numbered years and will be on the April 2021 ballot.
For most governmental bodies, the first day aspiring candidates can start circulating nomination papers and collecting signatures is Sunday, Dec. 1. Each race has a different number of qualified signatures a candidate must collect to get their name on the ballot, and most nominations must be fully completed and turned in to each respective organization clerk, or agency by the end of the day Tuesday, Jan. 7.
The exception in the Stoughton area is the Town of Rutland, which holds a caucus in January. The date is set to be decided at the board’s Dec. 10 meeting.
Nomination papers that are circulated prior to Dec. 1 will not be counted toward a candidate’s total number of signatures. Candidates must file a campaign finance registration form prior to collecting signatures on nomination papers for their respective jurisdiction.
The spring election, held Tuesday, April 7, will also be a primary for the 2020 presidential election held later that year on Tuesday, Nov. 3. The spring election will also feature an election for a state Supreme Court Justice, a court of appeals judge for District 4, which covers the southern central and western part of the state, and a Dane County circuit court judge.
City of Stoughton
Three of the five aldermanic seats for the City of Stoughton will have incumbents running this spring.
Alds. Lisa Reeves (D-2), Greg Jensen (D-3) and Ben Heili (D-4) are all planning to re-run for their seats on the 12-person council in the spring.
One of the three District 4 seats, currently held by Bartlett, will be open for the spring. That district is located on Stoughton’s northwestern side, west of Lincoln Avenue and going out to Hwy. 51 and the Kettle Park West development.
Riley, in District 1, did not reply to an email from the Hub. That district is the northern side of the city, east of Riverview Drive and mostly west of North Page Street.
Stoughton Area School District
All of the seats on the board are elected at-large, meaning all voters within the SASD are able to vote on each representative to the board, and the candidates are able to run for any seat. The seats of incumbents Jon Coughlin, Tim Bubon and Steve Jackson are up for election. Coughlin emailed the Hub Monday that he will not seek re-election.
To get on the ballot for the school board, candidates must file a campaign registration statement and a declaration of candidacy form to the district administrative office no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Town of Pleasant Springs
Town residents will see at least one new face on the board of supervisors sworn in next spring.
Janiece Bolender has filed for non-candidacy, leaving her Supervisor 4 seat open with no incumbent. Her fellow supervisor Jay Damkoehler’s Supervisor 3 seat is also up for re-election. Damkoehler had not filed either way for the race as of Friday, Nov. 22.
Both of the terms up for re-election are two-year terms. The three other elected officials, the town chair and Supervisor seats 1 and 2, are elected in odd-numbered years.
Town of Rutland
The Town of Rutland’s process for electing government officials is different from the majority of governmental bodies in the area.
Rather than having candidates file for candidacy by Jan. 7, candidates are determined at a caucus held in January of 2020. The date for that caucus is expected to be set at the Town Board meeting in December.
Two supervisor seats are up for re-election in April. Neither Nancy Nedveck nor Deana Zentner has filed non-candidacy paperwork leading up to the election, town clerk Dawn George told the Hub last week.
There are four Dane County Board of Supervisors that represent the larger Stoughton area that up for re-election this year.
None of the four representatives – Bob Salov, Melissa Ratcliff, Carl Chenoweth and Patrick Miles – had filed either way for the election as of Sunday.
Chenoweth represents the City of Stoughton, while Salov represents the area to the south and east of the city. Ratcliff represents area northwest of the city and Miles covers the town of Dunn to the city’s northwest.
There are four documents that a person is required to fill out when seeking candidacy for the Board of Supervisors: a Campaign Finance Registration statement form that should be filled out prior to announcing intentions to run; a Declaration of Candidacy form; nomination papers that should include at least 50 signatures from the district of candidacy, and no more than 200; and a completed Statement of Economic Interest describing what organizations a candidate’s immediate family members are involved with, where the candidate’s income comes from and what real estate they own.
All materials must be turned in to the Dane County clerk by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7.
If there are more than two candidates running for a single district, a primary election will be held to narrow the field on Tuesday, Feb. 18.