By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — Today marks the first day candidates for local offices can begin circulating nomination papers for next year’s elections, and so far in Wausau five incumbents on the Wausau City Council have officially said they will run again.
As of Friday, Pat Peckham, Romey Wagner, David Nutting, Gary Gisselman and Dennis Smith have all declared their candidacy and filed paperwork with the city, according to Wausau City Clerk Toni Rayala.
Sherry Abitz is the only sitting council member to file non-candidacy papers as of today, Rayala said.
Mary Thao, a current Wausau School Board member, announced in early November she will seek Abitz’s seat, though her paperwork has not yet been filed.
On the 38-seat Marathon County Board of Supervisors, seven current board members and three new candidates are in the mix, according to Marathon County Clerk Nan Kottke.
As of Thursday, incumbents Katie Rosenberg, David Nutting, Todd Van Ryn, Craig McEwen, Sara Guild, Rick Seefeldt and Jim Schaefer have declared their candidacy. Newcomers Ka Lo, Romey Wagner and Thomas Rosenberg have also filed registration statements.
Current board supervisors Sherry Abitz, Lee Peek and Orval Quamme have officially stated they will not seek another term.
Wagner initially told Wausau Pilot & Review he would not run for both offices, but said today he reconsidered after hearing from his constituents.
“I think it is important to speak for the residents of the municipalities on county issues, and I have been touched by the people in my district that called or reached out to me hoping I would stay on the council, and the fact that six or seven council members in the discussion the other night on the Administrator somewhat agreed that we should revisit the issue,” Wagner told WP&R on Friday. “I feel if I go off the council this important change will be kicked to the curb and not addressed and I want it. So that, in a nut shell, is why I decided to run again for the council.”
In both the city and county races, official declarations of candidacy are due by Jan. 2, 2018, and the spring primary is Feb. 20. The general election is April 3.
City council campaign packets can be obtained online. Council members are paid $5,355 each year and serve 2-year terms.
Candidates interested in a seat on the Marathon County Board of Supervisors can stop at the clerk’s office, located within the Marathon County Courthouse, for a packet. Board members serve 2-year terms and will earn $5,489 in 2018 and $5,597 in 2019.