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Spring election brings massive amount of challengers to La Crosse County Board seats

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A total of 50 candidates are running to serve on the La Crosse County Board of Supervisors this spring, promising an exciting election with the possibility for big turnover.

The deadline for candidates to submit paperwork expired Tuesday evening, and a large number of incumbents will try for re-election — but many will face challengers.

Of the county’s 30 districts, 19 will have more than one candidate vying for the seat, although only one race will need to be narrowed down by a primary.

La Crosse County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer said this many contested races was “unheard of.” She said there are typically only a handful of seats that are challenged in any given election.

“It could be a whole new county board come April,” Dankmeyer said, saying it was both “shocking” and “exciting.”

Only three incumbents won’t seek re-election this year. Longtime supervisor and La Crosse Common Council member Andrea Richmond announced last year that she wouldn’t run again, and supervisors Noelle Weber Strauss and Jamie O’Neill have also filed non-candidacy paperwork.

In Richmond’s District 1, a former candidate for mayor of La Crosse, Joe Konradt, will face off against La Crosse Board of Education member Pelli Lee.

Mike Baroni is the only candidate running to fill Weber Strauss’ vacancy in District 18. Dustin Frost and Dillon Mader will challenge each other for District 30, left vacant by O’Neill.

Two candidates are running to fill the county’s new district, which was added through last year’s redistricting process. The district has been named District 25, and Dennis Jake Jacobsen and Betty Sacia will run to be its first supervisor.

County Clerk Ginny Dankmeyer

Dankmeyer

The race for District 7 will be the lone county board race to appear in the Feb. 15 primary, the only seat to get more than two candidates. Incumbent Gary Padesky will face challenges from former supervisor Sharon Campson and newcomer Ellie McLoone.

Former La Crosse assistant chief of police Rob Abraham is running against incumbent Vicki Burke to represent District 21. Abraham retired from the force and was elected to the La Crosse Board of Education last year.

La Crosse County Board chair Monica Kruse will face challenger Heidi Worminghaus for her District 15 seat.

Recently elected La Crosse Common Council member Chris Woodard has thrown his hat in the ring, running against incumbent supervisor Dawn Wacek for District 9.

Also running are former West Salem superintendent and candidate for Wisconsin state superintendent Troy Gunderson; former Onalaska mayor Mike Giese; activist and leading community voice for the Ho-Chunk Nation Tracy Littlejohn; and former La Crosse city council candidate Richard Korish.

Incumbents Maureen Freedland, Roger Plesha, Peg Isola, Patrick Scheller, Randy Erickson, Tina Tryggestad, Margaret Larson, Dan Ferries, Matt Nikolay and Dan Hesse face no challengers.

Here is a complete list of candidate, including any known relevant experience:

District 1

  • Joe Konradt
  • Pelli Lee

District 2

  • Ralph Geary (i)
  • Tracy Littlejohn

District 3

  • Barb Janssen (i)
  • David Pierce

District 4

  • Maureen Freedland (i)

District 5

  • Grant Mathu (i)
  • Megan Pauley

District 6

  • Roger Plesha (i)

District 7

  • Ellie McLoone
  • Gary Padesky (i)
  • Sharon Hampson

District 8

  • Peg Isola (i)

District 9

  • Dawn Wacek (i)
  • Chris Woodard

District 10

  • Kim Cable (i)
  • Richard Korish

District 11

  • Patrick Scheller (i)

District 12

  • Randy Erickson (i)

District 13

  • Tina Tryggestad (i)

District 14

  • Margaret Larson (i)

District 15

  • Monica Kruse (i)
  • Heidi Worminghaus

District 16

  • Dan Ferries (i)

District 17

  • Mike Giese
  • Jack Pogreba (i)

District 18

  • Mike Baroni

District 19

  • Hubert Hoffman
  • Rick Cornforth (i)

District 20

  • Jordan R. Briskey
  • Steve Doyle (i)

District 21

  • Vicki Burke (i)
  • Rob Abraham

District 22

  • Pam Viner (i)
  • Sandy Turner

District 23

  • Matt Nikolay (i)

District 24

  • Kevin Hoyer (i)
  • Kristie Tweed

District 25New district created from redistricting

  • Dennis Jake Jacobsen
  • Betty Sacia

District 26

  • David Hundt (i)
  • Troy Gunderson

District 27

  • Dan Hesse (i)

District 28

  • Guy Valiquette
  • Karen Keil (i)

District 29

  • Tom Jacobs (i)
  • Ken Schlimgen

District 30

  • Dustin Frost
  • Dillon Mader

The 2022 spring election is set for April 5, and the primary for Feb. 15. For more information on voting, visit MyVote.Wi.Gov.

This story was updated on Jan. 7 to indicate that Mike Baroni is running for the seat in District 18. This is a correction from the original version of this story.

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