It’s officially a three-way contest to fill a vacancy in the La Crosse County treasurer’s office with the passing of Tuesday’s filing election.

Shawn Handland, elected treasurer in November 2016, resigned in August, and three candidates are running for the office.

Amy Twitchell, who currently works in the treasurer’s office, is running as a Democrat, as is Chadwick Hawkins, who is the clerk/treasurer for the town of Campbell. Twitchell and Hawkins will face off in a Feb. 20 primary, with the winner running in the April election against Pamela Hollnagel, a Republican who has worked for 25 years in the county’s zoning, planning and land information office.

The full 29-member county board is up for re-election every two years, and all but one incumbent — Kathie Tyser — is running for another term. Candidates in all but five races will be uncontested.

It looked for a while like there would be six races, with La Crosse Common Council member Gary Padesky filing initial papers to run against 7th District incumbent Sharon Hampson, who is vice chair of the county board. Padesky said, however, he decided he would wait two years to run for county board and then would not run for re-election to the city council when his term is up in 2021.

Meanwhile, Gerald Every, a former La Crosse council member who was elected last spring to the Onalaska Common Council, is running against incumbent Monica Kruse in District 15. Every, who has run unsuccessfully for La Crosse mayor, also served on the La Crosse School Board from 1977 to 1982.

Incumbent Ray Ebert, a Hamilton Town Board member, faces a challenge from West Salem Village Board member Kevin Hennessey in District 25.

Ebert’s colleague on the Hamilton Town Board, Kevin Hoyer, is running against incumbent Leon Pfaff in District 24.

Incumbent Dan Ferries in District 16 faces a challenge from Connor Nagy, a 2015 Onalaska High School graduate majoring in political science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

And in District 18, electoral newcomer Sue Christopherson, a former employee of the county’s Health and Human Services Department, is running against incumbent Laurence Berg.

The sole candidate who filed in Tyser’s District 28 has is new to elective office but comes from a family of public servants. Onalaska Middle School band teacher Karen Keil-Arellano is running for the county board on which both her parents — Janice and Robert — served.


Entertainment and county government reporter

Randy Erickson covers arts and entertainment and county government for the La Crosse Tribune. Contact him at 608-791-8219 or

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