Voters in City of Rhinelander aldermanic district No. 5 advanced retired attorney and pastor Gerald Anderson and local educator Wil Losch to April's general election in Tuesday's spring primary vote.
Anderson and Losch received more votes than assistant veteran service officer Jason Dailey, the third candidate in the race. Losch and Anderson will now compete head- to-head for the council seat currently held by alderperson Dawn Rog, who did not run for re-election. District 5 includes city wards 8 and 9.
According to unofficial returns posted on the Oneida County website, Anderson received 89 votes, Losch garnered 72 and Dailey 60.
In an email to the River News, Anderson thanked everyone who voted and stated he intends to spend the next several weeks studying the issues.
"I'll be spending the next six weeks talking with people and learning more about what their concerns are, so that I'll be ready to serve as their representative," he wrote.
Losch and Dailey did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the election results.
In responses to questions posed by the River News before the election, both Anderson and Losch explained why they chose to run for local office at this time.
"I hope to contribute to harmony among the Council and with other governmental and community agencies," Anderson wrote. "My life experience has brought considerable ability in analyzing issues, explaining them, and helping to resolve them. Especially, I believe I can be a calming influence in times of tension, encouraging people to work together for the common good. All these skills are much needed in our city at this time."
"I've followed city council proceedings on audio files available online, read local media coverage and spoken to city leaders and employees," Losch wrote. "As I did that, I began to lose confidence in the city council's ability to effectively govern and address problems that threaten the health and prosperity of the people of Rhinelander. The well contamination/water quality issue is an issue that should have unanimous support to solve, but I do not feel that has been the case. I was concerned city council members' and the mayor's negative interactions with each other was becoming a hurdle to citizens fully understanding the issues. More importantly their negative interactions with each other seem to be getting in the way of fixing problems that endanger our health. Rather than complain about it, I sought to become part of the solutions by running for city council. I've long held an interest in politics and governing, so this is the appropriate time for me to act. I seek to be an independent member of the council that will make decisions based on information and city residents' needs, not allegiance to any member(s) or faction of city leadership."
The general election is set for April 7 at which time two other City Council races will be decided. Former alderperson Bill Freudenberg and newcomer Eileen Daniel are vying for the District 7 seat currently held by Steve Sauer, who chose not to seek re-election.
In District 3, Carrie Mikalauski is challenging Lee Emmer, who was appointed to the council a year ago following the resignation former alderperson Sherri Belliveau.
Finally, local author and artist Tom Barnett is set to take over the District 1 seat to be vacated by retiring alderman George Kirby. Barnett is running unopposed for the seat.
Heather Schaefer may be reached at email@example.com.
The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC 232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361
Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121 Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce