Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 | NEWS
2014 Spring Election Overview
Spring election picture forming as nomination period closes
One primary in area, scattered local contests
Gregg Westigard|Staff writer
BURNETT/POLK COUNTIES – The period of nominating candidates for the April first election has ended except for Frederic, where the caucus will be held February 28 . The period for accepting caucus nominations is still op[en for some villages but the April ballot picture is nearly complete. There will be an active county board election, including a primary, in Polk County and a fairly quiet election for the Burnett County board. There will be some type of a contest in eight of the 15 area school districts. There will be scattered elections in 20 municipalities. The only judicial election is in PolkCounty.
The judicial race is for the Polk County Circuit Court where incumbent Judge Molly GaleWyrick is running unopposed. There are no Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, or Municipal Court contests in 2014.
Polk County is reducing the size of its board from 23 to 15 members this year, combining 16 of the board members in eight new districts. Four of the incumbents are not running but 19 present board members are in the race. There are contests in 13 of the 15 districts and one primary election on February 18th, the only primary in the area.
Burnett County, on the other hand, was only one contested race among 21 districts and one district where no-one filed and a write-in election will select the next supervisor. Twenty of the 21 supervisors are seeking re-election.
There are contested board races in five of the 15 area school districts. In another three districts, the only contest is to see who gets a short term. Candidates in the other seven districts are running unopposed.
The city of Amery will have a big change in faces on its council but no contested races in April. Mayor Michael Karuschak, Jr., is retiring. Present alderperson Kay Erickson is running unopposed for the office. Alderperson David Myers is also not seeking re-election for the at-large council seat and alderperson Jack Rogers is the only one running for that seat. His present district was changed when new lines were drawn. Julie Riemenschneider is the only candidate for the new, vacant district 2 seat. The only one of the four candidates on the ballot running for re-election to a present position is Rick Davis in district 1.
The city of St. Croix Falls has no contests on the ballot but does have a blank ballot spot where no-one filed for the position and a write-in election will select the new office holder. That position is the district two alderperson where Randy Korb is stepping down after one term in office. There is a contest for the remaining one year term of the other district two seat. Bob Kazmierski was appointed to replace Loreen Clayton-Morrell when she resigned but that appointment was only until the next election. St. Croix Falls Mayor Brian Blesi and district one Alderperson Donald Anderson are unopposed for re-election
Four villages use nominating papers in December to decide who the candidates will be and those ballots are now decided
In Clear Lake incumbents Lori Martin and Vern Engebretson are joined on the ballot by Marie Bannink for the three open seats. Jerry Peterson is retiring from the board
There is also no contest in Dresser where two incumbents, James Rochford, Jr. and Darron Nelson are on the ballot along with Elina Kuusisto for the three trustee positions. Kristi Scheet is not running for another term.
It is the same story in Osceola. Debra Rose joins incumbents Rodney Turner and Roger Kumlien on the ballot while incumbent Mark Campbell retires.
The situation is slightly different in Turtle Lake where three incumbents, Ruth Morton, Patrick McCready, and Jeff Outcalt, are running unopposed for re-election.
The other villages in Burnett and Polk County determine their candidates in caucuses in January. Candidates nominated at caucuses have five days to accept their nominations and some of those ballots are not yet determined. The complete list of village candidates, except for Frederic, should be known by next week.
Four towns in Polk County, Alden, Clear Lake, Farmington and St. Croix Falls, have five member boards and hold annual elections but their caucus results are not yet final.
County board - 13 contested seats
Villages & cities
St. Croix Falls: write-in for council
Balsam Lake: Council
St. Croix Falls
Clear Lake: 3 for 2
Frederic: 2 for 1
Osceola: for short term
Turtle Lake: 4 for 2
Unity: 3 for 2
One contested seat
One no-candidate / write-in
Grantsburg: for short term
Siren: for short term
Spooner: 4 for 3
One contest & one write-in contest
Three write-ins / no candidate
Shell Lake: write-ins
Spooner: one ward
Town of Minong: two contests
Spooner: 4 for 3
Rice Lake: write-in and short term
Hayward: 4 for 2