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February 18, 2020

1/9/2020 7:30:00 AM
City Council race: Rog and Kirby out; primary to be held in District 5

Heather Schaefer
Associate Editor

The Rhinelander Common Council will have a new look this spring as two veteran alderpersons will not run for re-election after failing to file paperwork prior to the 5 p.m. Jan. 7 deadline for candidates to return nomination papers.

In an email to local media outlets, Rhinelander City Clerk Val Foley announced late Tuesday that District 1 alderperson and City Council president George Kirby and District 5 alderperson Dawn Rog did not return a declaration of non-candidacy or nomination papers by the 5 p.m. deadline.

According to Foley, this "extends the period for other potential candidates in those districts to submit intent to run for office and subsequent paperwork by 72 hours."

According to the clerk's office, local author and artist Tom Barnett returned nomination papers and is an official candidate for the District 1 seat to be relinquished by Kirby.

If no one else files paperwork for that seat by 5 p.m. Friday, Barnett will run unopposed.

In District 5, a primary will be held Feb. 18 as three candidates have filed paperwork to seek the seat held by Rog.

According to the clerk's office, retired attorney and pastor Gerald Anderson, assistant county veterans service officer Jason Dailey and Rhinelander High School social studies teacher, and former charter school principal, Wil Losch are set to square off for the District 5 seat.

Anyone else interested in running for the District 5 seat must file the appropriate paperwork by 5 p.m. Friday., according to Foley.

The top two vote-getters in the Feb. 18 primary will advance to the April general election.

In District 3, incumbent Lee Emmer will face Carrie Mikalauski, an aide in the Oneida County Social Service office.

Emmer was appointed in February to finish the term started by former council member Sherri Belliveau who resigned in December 2018.

Mikalauski was also a candidate to fill the vacancy created by Belliveau's department, but Emmer got the nod.

In District 7, incumbent Steve Sauer announced in October that he would not seek a third term and later filed the paperwork to confirm his decision.

According to the clerk's office, former alderperson and Oneida County board member Bill Freudenberg will face newcomer Eileen Daniel for the District 7 seat.

In a phone interview with the River News Wednesday, Kirby stated his wife suffered a heart attack in November and he is stepping away from the council, in part, to avoid causing her additional stress.

He also shared his thoughts and frustrations regarding recent discourse among the council members and the events of the last year.

Rog issued a written statement to the River News in which she thanked her constituents for their support over the years and expressed concerns about current city governance.

A story on the statements received from Rog and Kirby will be published in an upcoming edition of the River News.

The City Council general election will be held April 7.

Northwoods River News reporter Jamie Taylor contributed to this story.

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