/ Articles / 2020 Oneida, Vilas county board elections to be light

2020 Oneida, Vilas county board elections to be light

Total of three contested races between the two boards; only primary is for an LUHS seat

January 21, 2020 by Kayla Houp

The spring election season in The Lakeland Times coverage area is, once again, relatively light when it comes to contested races for county, town and school boards. 

Candidates for local races had a deadline of Jan. 7 at 5 p.m. to file.

Extended nomination processes were applicable in instances where incumbents failed to declare candidacy or non-candidacy.

Write-in candidates can register for local office by noon the Friday before the election.

In Oneida and Vilas counties, a total of 42 seats — 21 apiece — are up for relection. 

All but a handful will be running unopposed.

Oneida County

There are contested races for three of the seats on the Oneida County board. 

In district 10, incumbent Jack Sorenson is challenged by Rhody Jakusz.

There’s a battle of incumbents of sorts in the competition for the district 11 seat. 

Incumbent Jim Winkler is being challenged by Bob Metropulos, currently the district 15 county supervisor. 

Metropulos recently moved into Winkler’s district, however, and filed to run against Winkler. 

Barring a write-in candidate, Lake Tomahawk town supervisor Stephanie Sowatzka will run unopposed as Metropulos’s replacement in that district 15 seat. 

In district 11, incumbent Robb Jensen is challenged by Robert Thome, Jr. 

Lance Krolczyk, one of three representatives of district 18 that includes Minocqua, is not running for re-election. 

That seat will be open. If there is no write-in for it, a representative will be appointed to that seat following the April election. 

Vilas County

Four people on the Vilas County board, including longtime supervisors Charles Rayala of Manitowish Waters and Erv Teichmiller of Arbor Vitae, are not running for re-election. 

Former Vilas County veterans service officer Mike Biszak filed to take Rayala’s place in district 3, which covers parts of Arbor Vitae, Boulder Junction, Lac du Flambeau and Manitowish Waters.

No one filed to take the seat Teichmiller has occupied for several years, district 6, which encompasses another portion of Arbor Vitae but Mike Cady declared his candidacy after the close of the nomination period and will run as a registered write-in.

Todd Achterberg, elected in 2014 and the incumbent district 20 county supervisor representing ward 4 for the town of Lincoln and ward 3 for the town of Washington, is not running for re-election. 

At the moment, Patrick Weber is the only candidate there. 

The fourth Vilas County supervisor not running for re-election is Kim Simac, who represents district 21, ward 3 in the town of Lincoln. 

That seat will be open in the April election as Simac didn’t file any paperwork with the Vilas County clerk’s office. 

Prior to the close of the extended nomination period, Greg Robotti declared candidacy for Vilas County’s 21st district.

Town board

In The Lakeland Times coverage area, there’s only a few town board elections, none requiring primaries and two featuring contested races. 

Arbor Vitae

There’s a total of our candidates for Arbor Vitae town board.

Incumbents Ryan Johnson and Brian Nerdahl will run against challengers Lawrence Haling and former Arbor Vitae town treasurer Barb Freudigmann.

St. Germain

In St. Germain, incumbent town supervisors Ted Ritter and Brian Cooper will run unopposed.


In Minocqua, incumbent town supervisors Billy Fried and Bill Stengl and challenger Brian Fricke — who serves on the Minocqua plan commission with Stengl — are running for two seats on the town board. 


Incumbent town supervisors Ray Christenson and Andrea Reuland will run unopposed.

Reuland was appointed to the town board in late 2019 following the death of town supervisor Mike Doud.

School boards

There are contested school board races in the Lakeland area and one of those will require the only primary out of the five school districts The Lakeland Times covers. 


Lakeland Union High School

Two of the board’s five at-large seats are up for election. 

Incumbent Shari Nimsgern is running for re-election; incumbent Sarah Kemp is not.

Heidi Fink, Brian Jackson, Tom Maulson, Dana Schmidt and Mark Pertile round out the field of candidates for those two at-large seats. 

It’s that school board race that will require a primary on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to narrow the field of candidates to four for the two seats. 

Emily Hallstrom, the board’s Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk representative, isn’t running for re-election. 

James Wescott and Shawn Umland will square off in April for that seat. 

Minocqua J1

Incumbents Mary Whitman and Joan Christgau along with challenger Will Tippett make up the field of candidates for the school board election there. 

Lac du Flambeau 

Incumbents Mike Zimmerman and Melissa Doud are running unopposed. 

Arbor Vitae-Woodruff

Arbor Vitae-Woodruff school board has one seat open in 2020, currently held by incumbent Randy Quade, who will run unopposed.

North Lakeland 

Incumbent Kari Moon will run unopposed for the North Lakeland school board Boulder Junction representative seat.

The general election is Tuesday, April 7.

Kayla Houp may be reached via email at [email protected]. Brian Jopek contributed to this report. He can be reached at [email protected].

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