Verona Election Day 2016

Ann Schuetz (second from right) and Audrey Huseth (far right) greet a voter while working the polls Tuesday morning, Nov. 8, 2016, at the Verona Public Library.

Most incumbents from the Verona area that serve on local or regional governmental bodies have decided to run for re-election next spring.

One exception is is Jason Knoll, a Verona Area High School social studies teacher who has served one two-year term as a Dane County Supervisor after being elected in spring 2018.

Two seats that may not have an incumbent come spring are two supervisor seats in the Town of Verona, as supervisors Doug Maxwell and Manfred Enburg told the Press Sunday they are both still deciding on whether they plan on running.

Mayor Luke Diaz, whose first term in the role is coming to a close, announced in an email to the Press on Nov. 21 he will run for a second two-year term, as have all of the four Common Council members whose terms end in April.

School board members for the Verona Area School District have also either confirmed they are running or have indicated their interest to do so to others.

Debbie Biddle, who is serving out the final year of former board member Russell King, who resigned partway through his term, is planning to run for re-election. The other board member, Kristina Navarro-Haffner, wasn’t available to confirm whether she was running for her seat Friday.

Incumbents have until late December to announce if they do not plan to run again.

For most local and county 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.

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; otherwise, the District Attorney would have the right to file a complaint for campaigning without being registered.

The spring election, held Tuesday, April 7, will also be a primary for the 2020 presidential election held later that year, Tuesday, Nov. 3. The spring election will also feature an election for the city’s Municipal Court judge; 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.

Dane County

Mike Bare has registered to run for the empty County Board seat, which represents the city and town of Verona.

Bare is a former alder of the Verona Common Council who is a member of the city’s Plan Commission and chair of the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Commission.

Potential candidates must fill out four documents – 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 their income comes from and what real estate is owned.

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 Tuesday, Feb. 18.

Town of Verona

People interested in running for the two town supervisor seats will need to fill out both a declaration of candidacy and a campaign finance report prior to being on the spring ballot.

The two seats up for re-election this year are the Third and Fourth supervisors. Both seats are At-large seats, meaning any resident over the age of 18 can run for either seat.

Verona Area School District

The two seats on the school board up for re-election are an at-large seat and a City of Verona seat.

That means that only City of Verona residents will eligible to run for both both seats; the at-large seat is open to any district resident. 

Every year, the entirety of the Verona Area School District residents vote on an at-large member, with the exception of every third year, which has two at-large seats up for election. Every three years, a seat specific to a resident of the City of Verona, the City of Verona and the outside cities is up for re-election.

Nomination papers can be picked up at the district administration office, 700 N. Main St., and school board clerk Tom Duerst will review each set of nomination forms to ensure all of their 100 signatures qualify.

Duerst said he recommends having more than 100 signatures, in case not all of them can be counted as legitimate voters of the Verona Area School District, he told the Press last Friday.

City of Verona

All city offices, including the mayor, are two-year terms, and each of the city’s four districts has one alder up for election each year.

Diaz said he wants to run again because there is more work left to do.

“I want to continue to work to keep Verona’s hometown feel even as our city grows,” he wrote in an email to the Press. “I also want to continue to advocate for more city transparency and downtown development that will provide Verona residents with a variety of dining options.”

Katie Kohl (Dist. 2) wrote in her response that being an alder has been rewarding. She defeated incumbent Jack Linder in 2018.

Evan Touchett (D-4) and Kate Cronin (D-3) did not add any comments. Touchett would be serving a fifth term after being defeated in 2013 and then defeating incumbent Mike Bare for the other seat in 2014 and running unopposed since. Cronin defeated 22-year incumbent Brad Stiner in 2018.

Kemp, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2014, ran unopposed in 2018.

Nominations papers can be picked up at Verona City Center, 111 Lincoln St

All but Kemp have replied to the Press.

Editor Jim Ferolie contributed to this story.