Filing season is underway for next spring’s local elections, with candidates having until Jan. 2 to file the necessary papers to get on the April 2 ballot.

All area municipalities and school boards will have members up for election.

In addition to county, municipal and school board races, there also will be a contest to fill the Wisconsin Supreme Court post held by Justice Shirley Abrahamson, who opted not to run, as well as three Wisconsin Court of Appeals judges. All La Crosse County Circuit Court judges will be on the ballot except for Gloria Doyle.

Some requirements for candidates are the same for all offices.

For example, all candidates must be 18 or older, be a citizen of the United States, be a resident of the area to be represented by the time the oath of office is administered and file declaration of candidacy and campaign registration statements with the municipal or school district clerks.

Before announcing the intent to run, soliciting funds or campaigning for votes, candidates must file a campaign registration statement and file a declaration of candidacy in order to be placed on the ballot. Candidates must file circulation papers with the required number of signatures of support.

These documents can be found on the Wisconsin Elections Commission website at elections.wi.gov.

Most candidates also are required to file nomination papers with the signatures of people eligible to vote for them. The number of signatures required varies, depending on the office. Candidates for the Onalaska Board of Education have to collect at least 100 signatures to get on the ballot because part of the school district includes a small part of the city of La Crosse (a “second class” city as defined by state statute).

Candidates for the municipal offices up for election in the spring need at least 20 signatures, while candidates for Holmen School Board don’t have to circulate a nominating petition. Council candidates must limit their petition signatures to 40 while other municipal candidates can turn in up to 100.

Area clerks advise candidates to collect more signatures than necessary, just in case some turn out to be invalid.

Rockland has a different way of choosing candidates to be on the ballot. Rockland holds a caucus in early January at which candidates for village office are nominated.

Incumbent officials who choose not to run are required to file a notification of noncandidacy by 5 p.m. Dec. 21. If a noncandidacy notification is filed after that date, the filing deadline for candidates for that office is extended.

In the event a primary election is necessary, it will be held Feb. 19.

Here is the rundown of area elected officials up for re-election:

ONALASKA COMMON COUNCIL: Jim Binash (1st District), Jerry Every (2nd District), Ron Gjertsen (3rd District)

ONALASKA SCHOOL BOARD: Ann Garrity and Deanna Verdon

HOLMEN VILLAGE BOARD: President Nancy Proctor and Doug Jorstad, Rich Anderson and Dawn Kulcinski

HOLMEN SCHOOL BOARD: Rebecca Rieber and Anita Jagodzinski

WEST SALEM VILLAGE BOARD: President Dennis Manthei and Leroy Brown, Kevin Hennessey and Daniel Wee.

WEST SALEM SCHOOL BOARD: Tom Grosskopf, Ken Schlimgen and Melinda Kopnisky-Bloomfield

BANGOR VILLAGE BOARD: President Gary Althoff and John McCue, Mike DeWall and Amanda O’Heron

BANGOR SCHOOL BOARD: Paul Wuensch, Douglas Servais and Joanie Wilcox (for “at large” seats); Shelly Piske (south representative)

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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 randy.erickson@lee.net.

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