April 5, 2010

Besides robins and daffodils, another sure sign of Spring in Wisconsin is the April election.

Compared to last year, this year's vote in Racine will be anticlimactic: there's no mayoral primary to pump up the vote. Although, come to think of it, last year's free-for-all mayoral primary, with 11 candidates, only enticed 13% of eligible voters to come to the polls.

With that in mind, we're predicting a light turnout, at least within the city...

The race that's drawn the most attention -- rancor, endorsements, advertising and money -- is between lawyers Georgia Herrera and Eugene Gasiorkiewicz for a seat on the Racine County Circuit Court bench being vacated by the retiring Stephen Simanek. In second place is everything else; a forum at the Golden Rondelle for the four candidates for three seats on the Racine Unified School board drew an audience of 30 people, including relatives.

The ballot will be similarly skimpy; in far too many districts there's just one name on the ballot. Take the Racine County Board for example: 17 of its 23 seats are unopposed.  Here's some of what voters will face:

County Board: In almost every case where there's no opposition, the single name on the ballot is the incumbent:
  • Racine County Supervisor District 1: Only Donnie Snow's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 2: Only Gaynell Dyess's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 3: A battle between Michael Gabbey and Monte Osterman to replace Diane Lange, who is retiring from the board after 14 years.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 4: A grudge match between incumbent Jim Kaplan and former board member Kenneth Lumpkin.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 5: Only David Cooke's name is on the ballot; Karen Nelson chose not to run again..
  • Racine County Supervisor District 6: Only Pamela Zenner-Richards' name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 7: Only Van Wanggaard's name is on the ballot, which has given him time to campaign against future opponent State Sen. John Lehman.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 8: Only Q.A. Shakoor II's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 9: Only Dan Sharkozy's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 10: Only Rusty Clark's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 11: Only Kay Buske's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 12: Only Robert Miller's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 13: Only Mark Gleason's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 14: Ronald Molnar is running against Mark Hjortness for the seat once held by Michael Miklasevich, who died in December.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 15: Incumbent Ken Hall is opposed by John Leiber.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 16: Only John Wisch's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 17: Only Robert Grove's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 18: Only Peter Hansen's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 19: Incumbent Joseph Bellante Jr. is opposed by Donna Deuster.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 20: Only Jeff Halbach's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 21: Incumbent Gilbert Bakke is opposed by Patrick Lee Haley.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 22: Only Thomas Pringle's name is on the ballot.
  • Racine County Supervisor District 23: Only Mike Dawson's name is on the ballot.

Racine Unified School District: Three incumbents -- Susan Kutz, Julie McKenna and Bill Van Atta -- will try to fight off one challenger, Fran Eulingbourgh.

Racine City Council: Three of the seven seats on the ballot are uncontested.
  • District 2: Jameel Ghuari vs. Eric Marcus for the seat formerly held by Robert Anderson, who did not seek re-election .
  • District 4: Incumbent Jim Kaplan vs. Sherrie Lawson.
  • District 6: Incumbent Sandy Weidner vs. Dwight Mosby Sr.
  • District 8: Q.A. Shakoor II is unopposed.
  • District 10: Donald James Dwyer vs. Dennis Wiser for the seat held by Tom Friedel until he became "interim" mayor and then was named city administrator last June by Mayor John Dickert. Interim council appointee Kelli Stein chose not to run for a full term.
  • District 12: Aron Wisneski is unopposed.
  • District 14: Ronald Hart is unopposed.

There are Trustee elections in a number of communities, although not all are contested. Some that are include:

Mt. Pleasant Village Trustee:

Three seats are contested by six candidates: Incumbents John Hewitt, Ken Flones and Harry Manning are opposed by  Gary Feest, Jerry Garski and Todd Stillman.

Caledonia Village Trustee:

Three seats are up for election, but only two are contested. Incumbent Wendy McCalvy opposes Gerard Griswold; Tom Weatherston opposes Shawn Olley;  Lee Wishau is unopposed.

Sturtevant Village Trustee:

Incumbents Gary Johnson, Linda Busha and Daryl Lynaught are opposed by challenger Jerrold Klinkosh

Not sure where to vote? Look up your polling place HERE.


  1. Michael Gabbey/Group actions to Monty are IMHO dishonorable and I wish Monty the very best.

  2. So many unopposed races are not good for democracy, but when you read the comments here and elsewhere-the unsubstantiated rumors and lies, the meanness and pettiness, what good person would dare run?

    Too often good people don't and we're left with the ones who don't care or mind the abuse.

  3. If by dishonorable you mean pointing out how someone who wants to manage tax money has a failing business, is being sued by everyone under the son, is delinquent in paying his taxes, his business is being evicted from its current location, and he owes the City of Racine $2,000 for shoddy work on monument square that he failed to properly fix.

  4. This is a great article. Thank so much for writing it.

  5. Mark Belling discussed judicial races in southeastern Wisconsin during today's broadcast - stating that Herrera is the overwhelmingly clear choice for Racine County in tomorrow's election!!!

  6. We don't need another person who pays taxes when he feels like it involved in local government. Check the ccap website before you vote in District 3 County Board race. When would he have time to represent us, with all the time he spends in court.

  7. The biggest joke is Wisnewski....

  8. Belling was winging it. You could tell he hadn't done his homework or any research on the candidates.

  9. Mark Belling did zero research on these two candidates. Herrera is a Democrat. The GAB will be called because her ads show officers in uniform i.e Sheriff Carlson and elected judges in their robes. She is breaking the very laws that she is suppose to be defending.

  10. Anon 9:39 you are right on the money, the comment after yours is further proof of that.
    Anon 11:19 your an idiot! Go to a meeting once and see how Aron Wisnewski conducts himself. He is fair and balanced and not influenced by what others think. I wish he was my alderman.

  11. If Wisneski is such a joke, how come no one ran against him? Come to think of it, how come of all the races for city council, there isn't a tea partier in the bunch?

    Could it be the tea partiers are all show and no go? Sounds about right to me. They'll talk all their same crap next spring, too - and with the same results - nada. It takes more than uninformed whiners to make things happen.

  12. Running unopposed by no means says that everyone is happy with that particular person, it just means nobody had the ambition to run which is too bad.
    Actually I've noticed through the years it's the elected officials that are the most active and the most productive that always have opposition - because they are noticed.
    The people who run unopposed year after year are usually the do-nothing elected officials who should do us all a favor and step down.

  13. It's all perception - Belling was not winging it, he did his research on the current judges as well as on the qualifications of both judicial candidates. In my opinion, Belling didn't wing it - nice try.

    I agree with Belling, if we want more soft sentences handed out, vote for Georgia's opponent. No thanks to that, I am interested in making this community better. Also, this race is non-partisan, has nothing to do with being a Democrat or Republican, it's about qualifications and experience and Herrera is the clear choice.

  14. Becker ran unopposed in his last election, too. He was fantastic for the city.

    Party on, pigs.

  15. "Party on, pigs."

    Still waiting for you to run. {sarcasm}

  16. Sarcasm assumed.

    Decent people don't run because decent people don't get involved with deceit, graft, and corruption.

    I started blogging the first time I saw Becker staggering around downtown. I was aghast. I have since learned much, grasshopper. Piggish behavior is part and parcel of local politics. While Becker ran Racine like his own private whorehouse, every one of his yes men and women went along for the ride. And every last one of them, aside from Hughes, is still in power. And will continue to be.

    Sexual perversion and corruption - that is was Racine politics stand for. That was first revealed to me as a youth, but I kept wanting to believe the lies. Denial is a mother.

  17. Tim the Shrubber4/06/2010 8:58 AM

    "The biggest joke is Wisnewski...."

    If Wisneski is a joke, then there is no such thing as a serious alderman. I can accept that you may not agree with him, but it is disingenuous to imply that he is not putting in a great deal of time, effort and thought into the job. If that is a joke, then I doubt anyone could be a good council member in your eyes.

  18. Schaal = YUMMY!!!

  19. Bertie in Sturte4/06/2010 9:45 AM

    It's funny that Klinkosh is running again in Sturtevant. When he lost last year, he didnt even finish out his term. Since filing papers, he hasent attended a single meeting to get up to date with what has been happening in the village. Sure sounds to me like he is not ready to serve. Im all for new blood, but recycled blood which isnt prepared is not right.

  20. "Sarcasm assumed."

    ...but misunderstood.

    "Decent people don't run because decent people don't get involved with deceit, graft, and corruption."

    That is an excuse. You just don't like it when people ask you to put your money where your mouth is...and so you come up with this excuse as to why you will not put your own time, effort and reputation on the line to make Racine a better place. Blogging is easy...

    Decent people do run for office, and most of our local elected officials are pretty decent people. Are all of them...nope...some stink to high heaven. (But then that could be said of almost any group of people.)

    What is indecent is your indiscriminate trashing of everyone and anyone involved in Racine city government.

    I am dead serious when I say run for office Orbs, but it is sarcasm because I know you are not brave enough and would rather just bitch, moan and complain.

  21. Anyone who would try and dig up dirt on their opponent and then publish eroneous information does not deserve to be a judge. What does that say about their integrity. Also anyone who has no answers to the JT's interview and the only thing she can say is that I'll work real hard does not deserve to be judge. We want someone with integrity, who knows what they'll do the first day on the job is who should be judge - that is Gene

  22. Right, Racine is going to elect an alcoholic and drug addict who just had anti-psychotics prescribed by his psychiatrist (to add to his other psych drugs) because of his violent outbursts. Right.

    My unrelenting criticism of local politics is, as I said, a result of my education in local politics. I know people who work at City Hall. I was informed about Becker's lechery before it became public knowledge. Would you have believed me if I had posted it? No, it would be Orbs mouthing off again.

    I could tell you something about national administration, too, But if I told you that I know someone who was interviewed for a cabinet position by the current administration, it would just be Orbs mouthing off again. So just sit and wait. It will come out. More political dirt.

    I put a username and an email address out there. I helped start an alternative site where the people involved meet regularly. You're invited to meet with us, too, and discuss Racine and whatever else you'd like.

    Of course, posting as anonymous doesn't make you a target of the hypocrites who blog negatively about other bloggers. I try very hard to avoid confrontation with other bloggers, but I am always called out by name by people hiding behind anonymity.

  23. Come to think of it, Racine already has some alcoholics and drug addicts serving in some positions of power. They just don't admit it. (I know them from AA meetings.) My problem is that I am upfront about who and what I am. Honesty is political death in Racine.

  24. The Belling endorsement is all I needed to know to vote for Gene.

  25. "Right, Racine is going to elect an alcoholic and drug addict who just had anti-psychotics prescribed by his psychiatrist (to add to his other psych drugs) because of his violent outbursts. Right."

    You are right...you are unelectable.

  26. I never claimed otherwise. As my shrink says, those who speak the truth are often labeled insane.

  27. So anon 10:29 am, you like having more criminals running the streets due to soft sentences? You like it when pedophiles get a slap on the hand and are allowed back out into society around all of our children and granchildren? If that's the case, voting for Gene is what you should do, he will be soft on crime. He will also fit in well with the majority of the judges in this town, they know the bar scene well, just what we need, more of our elected officials hanging out in bars, actually regulars in bars.

  28. Orbs - I'm so impressed at how you are so well connected to the polical world - give me a break. Don't think so highly of yourself.

  29. Anon 9:45, your one post made 6 incorrect accusations. Please seek the truth before blasting slanderous statements.

  30. Why does Monte Osterman think he can be an elected official with all of his financial problems, including the judgment against him by the City of Racine?

  31. Orbs, you put a user name and email address out there and that means what? Try your own real name and an email address that identifies you before you go and get all high hatted over yourself.
    People like you chase away good people who might want to get more involved and you help perpetuate the problems of the same old same old in politics.

  32. "The Belling endorsement is all I needed to know to vote for Gene."