From Common Council to Presidential Primary, local and statewide races decided April 7
Taskay, Haskin, Ernst unchallenged on way to reelection as Biden, Karofsky earn wins
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor
NOTE: These results are preliminary and are subject to change. This story will be updated as necessary.
WISCONSIN – Six days after Wisconsinites went to the polls and cast absentee ballots in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, preliminary results of the April 7 Spring Primary Election were announced Monday, April 13.
The election saw former Vice President Joe Biden carry the state in the Democratic Presidential primary following the withdrawal of Bernie Sanders, and liberal judge Jill Karofsky defeat conservative incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly for a decade-long term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
At the local level, Tomahawk Mayor Steven E. Taskay and City of Tomahawk alderpersons Patricia E. Haskin and Dale Ernst, all incumbents, ran unopposed for their respective posts.
Numerous other alderperson, supervisor and school board races throughout the area were also decided.
City of Tomahawk Mayor
City of Tomahawk Mayor Steven E. Taskay will serve another term in his post after facing no challengers on April 7. Taskay ultimately received 566 votes (91.88%), while 50 votes (8.12%) went to write-in candidates. He was elected in 2016 and ran unopposed in 2018.
City of Tomahawk Common Council
There were no competitive alderperson races in the City of Tomahawk. Incumbents Patricia E. Haskin (District 1) and Dale Ernst (District 3) each ran unopposed for their respective seats on the Common Council. Each District saw two write-in votes.
The District 3 race is currently undecided. Steve “Ding” Bartz, the District’s previous alderperson, chose not to seek reelection, but received the most write-in votes, meaning he will be the first to be offered the seat. Former alderperson Jim Graeber was the only other person to receive a write-in vote. Last year, Graeber also decided not to run for another term on the Common Council.
Tomahawk School Board
In the Tomahawk School Board’s only competitive race, David Long defeated Mark Martello 1,045 votes to 781, a 57.14% to 42.7% margin, to represent the Towns of King and Harrison. Incumbent Kay Kissinger Wolf will represent the Towns of Bradley, Birch, Skanawan, Tomahawk and Rock Falls alongside Ron Zimmerman, who will serve his first term on the board.
Democratic Presidential Primary
Former Vice President Joe Biden, now the lone candidate in the Democratic Presidential Primary race following Bernie Sanders’ suspension of his campaign Monday, won the Badger State soundly with 62.93% of the vote, earning 58 delegates. Sanders, who endorsed Biden following his withdrawal from the race, secured 13 delegates with 31.78% of the vote. No other candidates on the ballot earned more than 2% of the vote or a single delegate.
Biden took Lincoln County with of 71.08% of the vote, with Sanders following at 23.37%.
Republican Presidential Primary
President Donald J. Trump secured 98.21% of the statewide vote in the Republican Presidential Primary and 98.59% of the vote in Lincoln County.
Wisconsin Supreme Court
Dane County Circuit Court Judge Jill Karofsky defeated incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly for a ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Karofsky bested Kelly with 55.28% of the vote. Kelly earned 44.72%.
Karofsky’s victory over Kelly, a Scott Walker appointee, whittles the conservative majority on the state’s highest court from 5 to 2 down to 4 to 3.
Kelly carried Lincoln County with 54.08% of the vote, beating Karofsky’s 45.81%.
Marsy’s Law, which gives additional rights to crime victims and ensures those rights can be enforced in court by the alleged victim, was approved in Wisconsin by a 74.89% to 25.11% margin.
The numbers in Lincoln County were similar to the statewide result, with 75.79% in favor and 24.21% opposed.
The passage of Marsy’s Law elsewhere in the United States has run into legal challenges, and the law itself has faced criticism. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania claims “it undermines due process and upends the presumption of innocence.” After the law was approved by voters there in 2019, the ACLU and the League of Women Voters sued to prevent the law from being embedded in the Pennsylvania Constitution.
Lincoln County Board of Supervisors
Most candidates for the Lincoln County Board of Supervisors did not face challengers. William R. Bialecki (District 1), Bob Weaver (District 2), Elizabeth McCrank (District 3), Joshua Wendt (District 4), Greta Rusch (District 7), Christopher Heller (District 8), Don Friske (District 9), Jeremy Ratliff (District 10), Hans Breitenmoser Jr. (District 11), Paul Gilk (District 12), Calvin Callahan (District 13), Brian Hafeman (District 14), Robert J. Lee (District 15), Michael Loka (District 16), Kevin Koth (District 17), Patricia Voermans (District 18), Julie L. Allen (District 19), Dora Gorski (District 20), Eugene R. Simon (District 21), and Timothy Panfil (District 22) each ran unopposed.
A write-in candidate will represent District 5.
In District 6, Norbert Nubs Ashbeck defeated challenger Landis Holdorf 124 votes to 81, a 60.19% to 39.32% margin.
Oneida County Board of Supervisors
District 9 incumbent Jack Sorenson narrowly defeated challenger Rhody Jakusz, 260 votes to 242.
Incumbent Jim Winkler (327 votes) defeated Bob Metropulos (294) in District 10.
Robert J. Thome Jr. bested District 11 incumbent Robb W. Jensen 339 votes to 288.
District 18, decided by write-in, saw Lance Krolczyk (75 votes) defeat Candace Sorenson (59).
Price County Board of Supervisors
In a tight race, Ginny Strobl defeated James Adolph 166 votes to 157 to represent District 2.
Sheryl Slaby (175 votes) will represent District 3.
Alan L. Barkstrom (246 votes) beat Peter N. Dahlie (222) to represent District 8.
In District 11, decided by write-in, registered write-in candidate Waldemar Madsen received 8 votes.
Bradley Town Board
Voters in the Town of Bradley elected Robert W. Eisenman and John Joseph Crass as Supervisors. Eisenman (429 votes, 38.24%) and Crass (387 votes, 34.58) edged out Josh Johnson (303 votes, 27.08%) for the two available posts.
Merrill Town Board
Tony Fischer (550 votes, 59.27%) and Cutler Nowak (374 votes, 40.3%) each earned a seat on the Town of Merrill Town Board.
City of Merrill Common Council
In the City of Merrill District 1 alderperson contest, Paul Russell emerged victorious over Becky J. Meyer 201 votes (62.04%) to 122 (37.65%).
John Van Lieshout defeated Shannon Collins in District 5. Van Lieshout garnered 138 votes (56.56%), while Collins received 106 votes (43.44%).
Mike Rick squared off against Kyle Gulke in District 6, with Rick ultimately earning the seat with 103 votes (54.79%). Gulke tallied 84 votes (44.68%).
Steve J. Hass (District 2), Rick Blake (District 3), Steve Osness (District 4), Mark Weix Jr. (District 7), and Steve Sabatke (District 8), each ran unopposed for their respective alderperson posts.
Merrill School Board
Kevin J. Blake, Ronald Liberty and Paul C. Proulx will fill the three vacant seats on the Merrill School Board.
Prentice School Board
The Prentice School District saw no competitive races for School Board posts. Randy R. Erickson (Town of Hackett), Helen Palmquist (Town of Knox), and Darrell E. Pierson (Town of Spirit) each ran unopposed.