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Local electoral campaigns taking shape
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Richland Center will have a mayoral primary on Feb. 20, and one alderperson district and one Richland County Board district will also need a primary to reduce the number of candidates for the April 3 spring election.

Mayor Paul Corcoran will face two challengers, alderperson Mike Kaufman and former alderperson Jay B. Mueller, in the primary; with the top two votegetters advancing to the spring election.

Three candidates will also be seeking a one-year term on the city council in District One (Wards 1, 2, and 3). Jacob Lundgren, who was recently elected by the council to replace Daniel Schwinefus, is running against Karin Tepley and Ray Wilson Jr. 

In competition for two-year terms, Diane Cox is running unopposed in District One. Travis Wertz and Jay B. Mueller are seeking the District Two seat. John Collins and Robert Bindl are seeking the District Three position. And Ryan Cairns is running unopposed in District Four, where incumbent Kaufman is not running.

A primary will be needed in District 19 for the Richland County Board. It’s one of five races that have developed for the 21 seats on the Richland County Board of Supervisors as of the filing deadline Tuesday. 

In Districts 2, 7, 9, 14, and 19, there will be contests, including a three-way battle in District 19. 

In District 2 (Town of Bloom, Sylvan Ward 1 and Marshall Ward 2), incumbent Bryan Myers will be challenged by Shaun Lopez-Murphy. 

In District 7 (Town of Akan, Sylvan Ward 2 and Richwood Ward 1), Jessica Laeseke and Melissa Luck will vie for the seat being vacated by Paul Kinney, who is not seeking re-election.

In District 9 (Town of Richland Ward 3), Melissa Burke and Jayme Walsh are running.

In District 14 (City of Richland Center Wards 9 and 10), Chad Cosgrove and Bill Kloehn are seeking the seat being vacated by longtime board member Fred Clary.

In District 19 (Town of Buena Vista Wards 2 and 4), incumbent Richard Rasmussen has two challengers, Van Nelson and Floyd Bartow, Jr.

Unopposed candidates include Jeanetta Kirkpatrick (District 1), James D. Huffman (Ward 3), Donald Seep (Ward 4), Richard McKee (Ward 5), Marty Brewer (Ward 6), Gary Manning (Ward 8), Gary Peters (Ward 10), Bradley Wegner (Ward 11), Linda Gentes (Ward 12), David Turk (Ward 13), Edward Pulvermacher (Ward 15), Kerry Severson (Ward 16), Steve Williamson (Ward 17), Marc Couey (Ward 18), Larry Sebranek (Ward 20), and Buford E. Marshall, Jr. (Ward 21). 

Voters in the Richland School District will be electing four members. All four incumbents, Paul Corcoran, Karee Gander, Brady Doudna, and Grant Worthington, are running. Corcoran and Gander will be seeking three-year terms without opposition. Worthington is running for a two-year position, and Doudna and Isabela Castaneda Straight are running for a three-year term as an at-large member.