Kimmel, Thatcher win mayoral races

Area residents didn't allow blizard-like conditions to keep them from the polls in Tuesday's election. (Times photograph by Andrew Dannehy)

Two of the most hotly contested mayoral races Trempealeau County has had in a number of years didn’t end up being all that close as John Kimmel defeated incumbent Kevin Mayzek in Arcadia and Tom Thatcher topped Dave Carlson in Galesville.

Kimmel claimed 57.3 percent of the vote in defeating Mayzek, 270-200, according to the unofficial results released by the Trempealeau County Clerk’s office early Wednesday morning. There was also one write-in vote. Kimmel was first elected Arcadia’s mayor in 2006 before being recalled in 2015 amidst claims that he was not listening to the public, specifically in regards to sand mines. Kimmel lost the recall election to Rob Reichwein, 373-164 and lost to Mayzek, 202-197, in 2022. Mayzek served just one term.

One of the citizens who led the recall was Duane Matelski, who was reelected to the city council on Tuesday without a challenge. Paul Anderson was unopposed on Ward One and there was no candidate in Ward Three.  

There was no incumbent in Galesville as outgoing Mayor Vince Howe elected not to seek reelection after a tumultuous year. Current city council member Tom Thatcher defeated fellow councilman Dave Carlson with 57.6 percent of the vote, 235-169. Registered write-in Phillip Jenson received three votes and there was one more write-in vote.

A council member who was often at the center of the controversy with Howe was also ousted from the council as Tory-Kale Schulz lost to Randy Larson, 93-39, in Ward One. Schulz served one term, defeating Larson, 52-45, in 2022. 

There will apparently be two more new city council members as registered write-ins Jesse Swing, Ward Three, and Ryker Todd, Ward Two, received the most votes in their wards. Swing received 22 votes to eight write-ins and Todd received the only Ward Two vote. 

The incumbent won the third mayoral race in the county as Robert Baecker pulled in 106 votes to challenger David Galewski’s 77. Baecker has served as the city’s mayor for more than two decades.

Galewski was closer in his challenge for Ward One, but fell to incumbent Cleo Skroch, 49-41. Fellow incumbents Linda Longmore and Debra Marsolek won unchallenged. 

An incumbent Independence school board member lost her bid for reelection as Deborah Bork lost to challenger Brian Bautch, 185-170. 

Both Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school board incumbents won their challenges with Kara Nelson defeating registered write-in Yevette Riedemann, 1,255-54, and Todd Roessler claiming a 975-515 victory over Ray Slattery. 

Incumbent Whitehall school board member Byron Fields defeated challenger Julie Casperson, 382-218, in the only contested race in that district, serving the towns of Arcadia, Lincoln and Preston as well as the city of Blair. 

Incumbent Trempealeau County board members also won their bids for reelection with Bridgette Turner beating Sara Olson, 194-112, in District One; Richard Sacia topping Ryker Todd, 217-125, in District Three, and Jeanne Nutter besting James Franks, 228-189, in District 16. 

The village of Eleva also had a close race with three spots up for grabs. Brett Semingson (84 votes), who also serves as the county sheriff, and Ben Aiona (75) both won easily, but the third spot was close as Kyle Downing claimed 50 votes to Jake Mai’s 44. 

There was also a race in the village of Pigeon Falls with Ivan Semingson (77) and Brian Anderson (58) receiving more votes than Laurie Olson (24) with two available spots. 

County residents also supported both referendum questions. There were 2,842 votes in favor and 2,264 against the question regarding using private funds in elections. The second question asking that only election officials designated by law perform tasks in the conduct of elections received 3,175 votes in favor and 1,930 opposed. 



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