By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — As the clock ticks steadily toward the Jan. 2 nomination paper deadline, one more sitting council member has declared he won’t run again, while new candidates have emerged in the Wausau City Council race.
As of Friday, Dec. 29, all but three seats will be contested when voters head to the polls, and at least two districts will certainly have new representation in Wausau, according to City Clerk Toni Rayala.
The three districts that so far remain unchallenged are Dist. 1, represented by Pat Peckham; Dist. 3, represented by David Nutting; and Dist. 7, represented by Lisa Rasmussen, the current city council president.
The two sitting council members who will not run again are Sherry Abitz, who represents Dist. 10, and Joe Gehin, who represents Dist. 9.
In Dist. 9, two candidates have stepped forward: Dawn Herbst and Griffith Williams, though neither candidate has yet filed signed nomination papers. Candidates have until Jan. 2 to do so.
In Dist. 10, three potential challengers have emerged. Mary Thao and Vichai Gillette have both filed candidacy papers and nomination signatures, while a third potential candidate, Donna Krause, picked up an election packet.
In Dist. 2, incumbent Romey Wagner and challenger Michael Martens have filed candidacy papers. Tom Neal, who represents Dist. 4, will have a challenger in Doug Diny, who ran against Neal two years ago. Neal’s nomination papers are complete, but Diny has not yet submitted his signatures.
District 5 also has two potential candidates: incumbent Gary Gisselman and Jim Wadinski. This is the second time Wadinski, a retired Wausau Police officer, is seeking the spot. Wadinski has not yet filed signed nomination papers.
Tamera DeGroot will challenge incumbent Becky McElhaney for the Dist. 6 seat, and Thomas Brown will challenge Karen Kellbach in Dist. 8.
Dist. 11’s incumbent, Dennis Smith, has filed his candidacy papers, along with challenger Patrick Bacher. Smith’s nomination papers have been filed, but Bacher’s have not, according to Rayala.
Official declarations of candidacy are due by Jan. 2, 2018, and the spring primary is Feb. 20. The general election is April 3.