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Brown County voters to narrow candidate field in Feb. 16 primary

By Press Times Staff

BROWN COUNTY – In addition to a variety of local races where there are more than double the number of candidates compared to available seats, there will be one race for all county voters to narrow the field of candidates next Tuesday, Feb. 16.

A seven-way primary is being held for state superintendent of public instruction, for which the top two vote-getters will advance to the April 6 general election.

The seven candidates include Jill Underly of Hollandale, Deborah Kerr of Caledonia, Steve Krull of Milwaukee, Shandowlyon Shawn Hendricks-Williams of Milwaukee, Troy Gunderson of West Salem, Joe Fenrick of Fond du Lac and Sheila Briggs of Deforest.

The current officeholder, Carolyn Stanford Taylor, has decided not to seek a new four-year term after being appointed to the position two years ago following the previous state superintendant, Tony Evers, becoming governor in 2019.

89th Assembly District

A special election is being held in the 89th Assembly District, which includes the Village of Suamico and part of the Village of Howard, along with portions of Oconto and Marinette counties.

Prior to the new two-year term beginning last month, 14-year Republican State Rep. John Nygren announced his resignation in early December and became the executive director of the Wisconsin Association of Health Plans.

The now-vacant Assembly seat will have a new representative finish out the remainder of the term upon the special election winner taking office in April.

The four Republicans running in the primary include: Suamico Village Trustee Michael Schneider; Elijah Behnke, who lives near Oconto in Pensaukee and currently owns and operates a residential cleaning business; Michael Kunesh, a licensed real estate agent who owns Place Perfect Realty in Marinette and Green Bay; Debbie Jacques, who currently owns Under the Lights of Lambeau, a rental property by the stadium.

David Kamps of Coleman dropped out from the race.

The top primary vote-getter among the five Republicans will advance to the general election to face the lone Democrat in the race, Marinette County Supervisor Karl Jaeger, who lost last November’s general election to Nygren.

School board races

Three local school districts with a combined 13 candidates running for five seats will each be eliminating one candidate in the primary.

A primary to narrow the field of candidates from five to four is being held for two seats on the De Pere school board.

Incumbents Jeff Mirkes and Dan Van Straten are being challenged by Adam Clayton, Angela Hoisington and Chad Jeskewitz.

There is also a school board primary in Howard-Suamico to narrow the field of five candidates to four for two at-large seats up for election for three-year terms.

Incumbents Vanessa Moran and Jeff Eilers are being challenged by Travis Veraghen, AJ Walker and Greg Klimek.

In West De Pere, a primary will be held to eliminate one of three school board candidates running for an open seat with Tom Van De Hei deciding not seeking a new three-year term.

Riley Drew, Jamie Kinjerski and Ryan Van Den Heuvel are on the ballot.

De Pere city council

In the City of De Pere, an alderman who made an unsuccessful bid last year for the Wisconsin Senate is in a three-way primary for his council seat.

In District 2, two-term Alderman Jonathon Hansen is being challenged by Susan Netzel and Daniel Gaumer.

The top two vote-getters advance to the general election.

The polls countywide will be open Tuesday, Feb. 16, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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